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Breast Cancer Awareness Month – One Woman’s Survival Journey

Leah Brunie interviewed by Liz Bonis, WKRC-TV, regarding her Breast Cancer Survival Journey!

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Leah Brunie interviewed by Liz Bonis, WKRC-TV, regarding her Breast Cancer Survival Journey!

All right, just ahead, not surviving, but thriving with breast cancer.

She has quite a story to tell. We’re going to meet another member of Jon Mendelsohn’s team, but she’s here because we want to share a little bit about her own journey. Stay with us. Well, that speaks volumes, doesn’t I?

So we want to move on now to what we call faithing our fears, and we invited a special guest here to talk about that because we are now in Breast Cancer Awareness Month and one of the things that I know terrifies me personally, it terrifies many of us that are friends is simply to have an illness that we may or may not be able to overcome. And so we thought we know who to talk to. We want to introduce you to Leah Bruni. She actually also works at the Advanced Cosmetic Surgery & Laser Center.

But you are a survivor. I’m a two-time breast cancer survivor. Actually, the day this airs will be my third year anniversary of being diagnosed. So I’ve had breast cancer twice in the last six years. And you had a particularly tough kind of breast cancer called triple negative. Tell me about that. So triple negative is a more aggressive form of breast cancer. It Usually affects sometimes women less than 50 years old. It’s fast growing. It can target African-American women. It’s a treatment that there’s many different types of breast cancers, and triple negative is one that there’s a risk of reoccurrence happening. And that’s kind of what happened with my story.

So let’s review a little video of just, I’m guessing the importance of something you talk about, which is mammography and screening. Let’s just talk about that journey. What have you been through and how are you now? So in 2015, I was breastfeeding my baby. He was nine months old and I felt a lump, and that’s how I found my breast cancer. I was too young for mammograms, so I had to be my own patient advocate because nobody really wanted to biopsy a nursing mom. So eventually I was diagnosed with breast cancer in both breasts. And then I was BRCA positive. So then three years later, it came back on the implant and I was diagnosed again. Wow. So regular screenings now? Or how do you follow up? So regular breast self breast exams.

So I had a double mastectomy and I had the implants removed. And it’s just basically monitoring your health and trusting your gut and going and following up with my oncologist. I had an appointment Monday. So we’re three years out and you’re healthy and your babies and whatnot are good. Yes, they’re amazing. I can honestly say my littlest one saved my life. And they’re the reason why I fight every day because I have milestones of seeing them graduate high school and get married and have babies of their own. So I have a list in my head that I keep track of. I clicked off that they are out of preschool now. What a wonderful way to face their fears. Exactly. I mean, you have to have a support, and I can honestly say that with God, I couldn’t have done it and without the community and my faith in God and just listening to my own body. Yeah. So we actually have a little video of what you do at the cosmetic center because I know you when we were there, you were looking at a shot that helps reduce cellulite, which is really cool. But one of the things you said to me is that your journey has helped you in how you care for patients.

Tell me about that. So as a segment says, look good, feel better.

When I was going through cancer, I had chemo twice and pretty much that changes everything on how you look. Your hair, your eyelashes, your eyebrows. I knew I was going to lose my breasts and my ovaries, and so I tried each day to look more like myself and look normal for my kids, right? And so with patients at the plastic surgeons office, I’m able to help them look good and everybody’s going through something. And so when you’re able to help them look good and they’ll just feel better about themselves and more confident, more rejuvenated. And it’s a joy to be able to treat somebody in a different way. I’ve been a nurse for a long time, and so this is just a different way of caring for people. Well, and you know, one of the things that I always say is that when it’s appearance related like something you can see, you can’t hide that. Exactly. I had to learn how to do makeup and eyelashes and eyebrows and cut wigs and/or wear hats. And, you know, my kids loved long hair, so they always wanted me to say, when was your beige long hair coming back? And so, you know, my goal was always, just try to look like myself for my kids. We’re grateful for you.

Thanks so much for having me.

It’s an honor to be able to share my story.

Website – www.351face.com



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