My name is Tanya Farriel. I was born and raised in Norwalk, Connecticut. In 2008, at the age of 37, I discovered a dime size “thing” in my breast while I was taking a shower one morning. Within a period of one month this “thing” turned into the size of a quarter. I spoke with my mother who told me to see a doctor. This is when I was toldabout my mother’s identical twin sister who did not survive her ordeal with breast cancer.
I was checked by a doctor. They did a biopsy and within two weeks, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My motherencouraged me to go to Yale New Haven Hospital where I had a second biopsy that confirmed the diagnosis of breast cancer. Again, with my mother’s encouragement, I was admitted to Yale New Haven Hospital (YNHH) for surgery that would remove half of my breast. If it had not been for YNHH and the surgical doctors there, I do notknow how I would have made it to today. I believe I would have had a complete breakdown. I was so scared and had no other support during the eight month ordeal.
I ended up having a mastectomy followed by chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The side effects of the treatments coupled with having to have a mastectomy were too much for me to handle psychologically. I had four children at the time. I was commuting between Norwalk and New Haven for my treatments and that became very difficult. Thus, added to my health issues was a move to New Haven. My children rebelled against the relocation. They were leaving their home and school. They were losing their extended family and friends back in Norwalk. They did not understand what I was experiencing.
Sometime later during my pathway to recovery, the relocation to New Haven brought me into contact with many “good” people. Mother Mays, Robin and Laura would feed and take care of my children giving me rest time. They helped me with making my clinic appointments.
To show my gratification for all the assistance I received from these wonderful people, I volunteer and donate my time in the name of breast cancer. By the grace of God, I am here today. I am here for my children, my grandchildren and the community of women who have breastcancer with all my heart and being.