Sister-in-law of Lisa Boissier, J. Lohr San Jose Event Coordinator
Survivor since 2006
In 2006, I was told after many self-exams, mammograms and a biopsy, that I had stage-three breast cancer. It showed up in my lymph nodes—my doctor called it a “sneaky one.” I had a mastectomy, and then started six months of hard-core chemotherapy. Every speck of hair fell out, and I felt very sick. I had always been a full time waitress, but I couldn’t work at the restaurant during treatment because I’d be exposed to too many people. Instead, I spent my days at a ranch pursuing my passion and working with some of the problem horses. The horses allowed me to keep my dignity; I was able to focus on something other than how lousy I felt.
I’d never had the nerve to do horse shows or to be in the limelight, but I knew I didn’t want life to pass me by without my being able to try the things I loved. When I finished chemo and radiation therapy I started feeling better, and I began to compete with my horses in events in front of thousands of people, including the Western States Mustang Challenge. In that event, I competed with Chato, a wild mustang I had trained for only ninety days. Chato was auctioned off that day, bringing in one of the highest bids of all the mustangs. Because of my story and my experience with cancer, the Mustang Heritage Foundation announced on the spot that they would donate $1000 of Chato’s proceeds to breast cancer research. That was one of the most exciting things I have ever done, and I never would have it if I hadn’t gotten cancer. Now I’m a four-year survivor! If there is something that I can say to all women, it’s this: you have to be your own advocate in testing and treatment. If there is any question at all, get a biopsy! If that advice can help even one person, then I’ve done my job
Research indicates that early detection and treatment are essential to combating breast cancer, and annual mammograms are often the first step toward confronting this disease. For every bottle of J. Lohr Carol’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon or Sauvignon Blanc sold this year, we will donate $2 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. All proceeds will go toward providing mammograms for women in need.
For more information on breast cancer awareness, please visit nbcf.org