My Story by Monique Cohen
November 17th, 2011. I will forever remember this date. It was the day I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Before that fateful day I was unfamiliar with cancer and what exactly my diagnosis meant. I watched neighbors and friends struggle with their cancer diagnosis and thought that this could never happen to me. I was a young, healthy, non-smoker who led a clean life. My favorite pastime was running and I completed 4 triathlons. Cancer was not in my family. How could this be me?
But it was me. I realized quickly that denial and asking the question of “why” would not help me get through this (I always knew that I would get through this!) I began my treatment at MD Anderson in Houston, Texas in the beginning of 2012, and completed it 9 months later. It was a tall mountain to climb, made easier by the outpouring of support and help from my husband Jamie, my children Shay, Madeleine and Sophia, my Jason’s Deli family, my friends, and the expertise and care I received from the doctors and nurses at MD Anderson.
Soon after my diagnosis I had a friend tell me that I would receive many blessings during my cancer journey. I thought, of course, that was crazy. But guess what? She was absolutely correct. I have met people who have changed my life. I continue to be inspired by the love, support, and care I have seen from not only my children and husband, but by close friends and total strangers. I have learned to appreciate all that I have and have strengthened my relationships with those I love, both near and far.
When I began treatment I would often say, “I can’t wait until I am my old self again.” Now that I am a survivor, I realize I will never be my old self again. And that’s ok. Without cancer, I never would have known how strong I am.
“I am strong because I have been weak, I am fearless because I have been afraid, I am wise because I have been foolish”
My infinite gratitude is bestowed upon Jason’s Deli during my hardship, for the love and support of me and my family, and generosity with the MD Anderson MoonShots water bottle program. You are truly some of the best people I know and I cannot thank you enough for all you have given us. We Love You!
Note: Monique is married to Jamie Cohen, Chief Branding Officer at Jason’s Deli