“Stay positive no matter what!” “Smile!” “Hold your core group of family and friends close!”
These are the things that Tamme Forret says got her through the hardest times of her journey of diagnosis, treatment and beating breast cancer. She says, “Good things happen when you are positive and not mad at the situation that was handed to you”.
Tamme had a routine mammogram in February of 2020 and then was asked to return for an ultrasound, then a biopsy. There wasn’t a sense of urgency quite yet but Tamme took the right steps and got the appointments scheduled. Then, the world turned upside down – the COVID-19 pandemic hit the same week that Tamme received her diagnosis of Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. Now everything that wasn’t urgent before seemed now impossible to get taken care of and created a very stressful situation. In a normal world, Tamme would have had her surgery immediately. But with Covid, Tamme’s surgery was deemed “elective and not necessary”. Luckily, Tamme had some great doctors on her side and her surgery was completed and successful nearly a month after her diagnosis, despite the pandemic.
Tamme’s chemo and surgeries were completed at John Stoddard and Iowa Clinic, and she says she would “recommend them without reservation”. Her best advice to everyone is to “do your routine exams! The earlier it is found the better you will be. You are your best advocate”. After her diagnosis, Tamme made a conscious decision to process the thoughts that were weighing her down but to not wallow in them. She found an outlet by talking with her friends and family, crying about the ‘what-ifs’ and then making room for the good thoughts – good providers, good news that her cancer was detected early and most importantly, good support systems.
In light of celebrating her cancer free diagnosis, the process of beating breast cancer is always in Tamme’s rearview mirror. “Life never really goes back to how it was before cancer. It is the first thought and last thing I think about every day, but then it is moved aside. It is a part of me, but it does not define me.”
At Acumen Advisors, we “define” Tamme as a cherished friend and colleague, every day and especially during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We thank her for sharing her story and we are enjoying our month of “Think Pink” activities in celebration of Tamme being cancer free!