Breast cancer was not something new to Joey, it runs in the family. She has 3 aunts that have beaten the disease, two of them more than once. When diagnosed at the age of 37 Joey knew she had to take an aggressive approach to treatment to survive and avoid recurrence. She had constant, steady support from her husband, mother, brothers and sister throughout her journey. She had a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and then a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction at Elmbrook Memorial Hospital. The positive mental approach made the year long journey from diagnosis to recovery bearable enough that she says, “I could maintain a “normal” life. Maintaining a sense of normalcy means more than I can express.” They “treated me in a fashion that made me feel as though I was their most important patient.” Two years later Joey now says, “I feel healed. My body has physically recovered and I have my strength back. . . . I imagine there will always be the lingering question of “will it return” but given the tools and technology we improve on daily, I can honestly say that if it does, I will beat it again.” Joey now focuses on each day and enjoys her time with family and friends. “I have decided to take this experience and draw the positive out of it . . . appreciate what you have every single day.”
Joey’s Chair: “The Embrace”
The head and face gaze downward serenely
The arms with flowing strength
Embrace Life, Self, Inner Peace
The body is alive with activity
Embrace Family, Friends, Joy
Simple beauty, bright with color
Embrace the blessings every day brings!
These are the things my chair represents. It is symbolic of the important things in life, things everyone needs to stay happy and healthy. I hope it can inspire and remind anyone who looks at it what the priorities in life really are.
I want to make a special note of the strength represented in the arms – this strength came from my husband, my mom, my brothers and sister with the support they gave me during treatment. I could not have come through it as well as I did without them. I cannot express how much they all mean to me – I am truly blessed.