Tiffany's Story: “Breast Cancer Gave Me a Purpose, Duly Gave Me a Home”

Tiffany is an open book when she talks about her health jour­ney — and how a pain­less, pen­cil-eras­er-sized lump in her breast led to a breast can­cer diag­no­sis that she says changed her life…for the better.

Tiffany was just 28 years old when she was diag­nosed with Inva­sive Duc­tal Car­ci­no­ma, the most com­mon form of breast can­cer. After feel­ing a lump in her breast dur­ing a morn­ing stretch, she made an appoint­ment with her then Duly Pri­ma­ry Care Provider (PCP) out of cau­tion and curios­i­ty. She was young and had no med­ical his­to­ry on either side of her fam­i­ly. It had to be noth­ing, she thought.

I hon­est­ly didn’t think any­thing of it. After the sec­ond biop­sy was ordered, that’s when I knew some­thing was off,” she says. You nor­mal­ly don’t get a sec­ond biop­sy done for no rea­son, but knew I was in good hands with Duly.”

Tiffany, now 38, appre­ci­ates how her doc­tor was aggres­sive with her screen­ing — not con­sid­er­ing Tiffany’s favor­able age and med­ical his­to­ry as rea­sons to wait it out. With her breast can­cer diag­no­sis, Tiffany was also diag­nosed with Li-Frau­meni syn­drome, a rare genet­ic dis­or­der that great­ly increas­es the risk of devel­op­ing sev­er­al types of can­cer. Her Radi­a­tion Oncol­o­gist at the time proac­tive­ly screened her for the dis­or­der, which would lat­er con­tribute to addi­tion­al uter­ine and skin can­cer diagnoses. 

Through­out my breast can­cer jour­ney and beyond, there was no doubt in my mind that Duly would take care of me. All my care teams— Pri­ma­ry Care, Oncol­o­gy, Surgery, Phys­i­cal Ther­a­py, Radi­ol­o­gy, Infu­sion Cen­ters, Genet­ics, Plas­tic Surgery and more — worked so close­ly togeth­er to make sure every­thing was tak­en care of,” she says.

I nev­er had to go out­side of Duly,” she says. I love this com­pa­ny so much — as a patient and now as a team member.”

Dur­ing her treat­ment, Tiffany joined Duly as a part-time recep­tion­ist in 2014, prompt­ed by the extra­or­di­nary care she received as a Duly patient. With her incred­i­ble team mem­ber bonds, she’s also found a love for the admin­is­tra­tive side of patient care in her recent role at Duly as a Direc­tor of Mus­cu­loskele­tal Ancil­lary Operations.

Before her expe­ri­ence at Duly, Tiffany’s career had focused on hos­pi­tal­i­ty. The tire­less effort and empa­thy from Duly’s team mem­bers tru­ly left a mark on both her per­son­al and pro­fes­sion­al lives. 

Can­cer gave me pur­pose, but Duly gave me a home,” she shared. 

Since her breast can­cer diag­no­sis and treat­ment, Tiffany has tak­en own­er­ship of her health…and her life. She stays hyper-aware of her body and meets and com­mu­ni­cates reg­u­lar­ly with Daniel Frank, MD, Hema­tol­ogy & Oncol­o­gy. Today, she wakes up every morn­ing and choos­es to not let her health jour­ney define her. She embod­ies a why not” men­tal­i­ty and focus­es her ener­gy on the things that bring her joy. Since com­plet­ing her treat­ment, Tiffany has been flour­ish­ing by: 

  • Trav­el­ing the world with her hus­band to places such as Scot­land, Puer­to Rico, and the Smoky Mountains 
  • Explor­ing and mas­ter­ing land­scape photography
  • Com­plet­ing her Mas­ter’s degree in Health­care Admin­is­tra­tion at Johns Hop­kins University
  • Spend­ing time with her fam­i­ly, espe­cial­ly her nephews and niece

These are all extra­or­di­nary expe­ri­ences for her, sim­ply because she’s alive to expe­ri­ence them. 

I strive to live my life unselfish­ly by mak­ing someone’s day bet­ter than it was yes­ter­day,” she says. I’m flour­ish­ing when oth­er peo­ple are.” 

Tiffany still has the t‑shirt she wore to her first chemother­a­py treat­ment to remind her how far she’s come and how much her life has changed in 10 years. She says there’s just some­thing about the shirt” that brings her back.

I am not one to seek and thrive in a lot of atten­tion,” says Tiffany. How­ev­er, I am proud to share my sto­ry and hon­ored if I can have an impact on one per­son­’s life by encour­ag­ing them to pri­or­i­tize their health.” 

Duly Health and Care is com­mit­ted to pre­vent­ing breast can­cer and sup­port­ing those who have been affect­ed by it. Ear­ly detec­tion is crit­i­cal and reg­u­lar breast exams are your first line of defense against breast can­cer. Per­form­ing self-exams, com­plet­ing an annu­al clin­i­cal breast exam and screen­ing mam­mog­ra­phy can iden­ti­fy changes in your breasts ear­ly on when they are most treat­able. Learn more about screen­ing rec­om­men­da­tions for women of all ages >

If you are a woman over the age of 40 or have an increased risk for breast can­cer, keep up to date on your rec­om­mend­ed annu­al screen­ing mam­mo­gram. Sched­ule your mam­mo­gram online today >

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