Breast cancer diagnosis doesn't bring woman down

Posted at 7:11 AM, Oct 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-03 08:59:17-04

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lives.

But that diagnosis didn't stop a local woman from living her life to the fullest.

Jennifer Lopez was 41 when she was diagnosed with the disease. She says her journey has been a long one, but she never gave up hope.

Lopez, known as J. Lo, like the singer to her doctors and friends was diagnosed in 2013. She says she found the lump in her left breast herself.

"It was kind of like a pea-sized marble. They always say do your breast exams, and you don't really know what to feel or look for, that I knew," she said.

From there, she was diagnosed with stage two intraductal carcinoma but decided to get a few other opinions. She says the more opinions she got, the more cancer they discovered. Soon, her stage two breast cancer turned into stage four, with cancer being found in her bones and even her liver.

"You just feel like you've been hit by a truck or a big boulder just smashes into kind of takes the air out of you."

After the initial shock and sadness of her diagnosis, she made up her mind to fight despite the fact that one of her first doctors told her she only had 6-12 months to live. That's when her outlook on life changed. So, she married her now husband three days after her diagnosis.

"We planned it in three days, there were no frills. We walked out on the beach in Grand Haven and I had everyone bring a beach chair and they sat around us in a circle and we got married," she said.

Lopez's husband then set her up with an appointment at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America where she says her battle took a turn for the better. Today, Lopez says she is still on medication but is considered in remission. She says attitude is half the battle.

"You have to focus on the good and the positives. Because we could all get swallowed up by the negative and the thinking, this is going to kill me. But that's the thing: its not a death sentence anymore."