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Breast Cancer: Advice From A Nurse Who’s Been There

October 04, 2017

Often we find support, hope, solace and inspiration in the experiences of those who have previously walked the same path we do. 

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For those newly-diagnosed, or struggling with their diagnosis, take heart in the stories and advice of these Hartford HealthCare employees, who truly understand what you’re going through, because they’ve gone through it, too. 

Name: Julie Masamery

Title: RN, Clinical Leader, Hartford Hospital

Department: Women’s Health.  Working here has helped me to share my story with other women that have been diagnosed with breast cancer. It gives my patients encouragement and helps inspire other women with their journey.

Date of diagnosis: Oct. 1, 2009. I was working the night shift on Bliss 8 when I was given the devastating news.  I was diagnosed with stage 3 invasive lobular breast cancer. It was a blessing that my best friend Susan Connell, cancer survivor, was there to support me.

What do you look forward to? I look forward to the day that they find a cure for cancer. I have learned to live each day to the fullest and be optimistic and hopeful for the future.

What’s the best advice you would give a woman who is diagnosed with breast cancer today? Ask questions—no matter how many or how often. Allow others to help and reach out for their support. Don’t hold back on expressing emotions and show feelings with loved ones. Do things that bring you joy and happiness. Remind yourself that you have the strength and determination to be a survivor. Put one foot in front of the other—You can do it!

The Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute provides the full spectrum of breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up services. Learn more here