“ Don't give up, keep your head high, BUT when you need to... cry and scream! Let others know how you really feel!
Danielle Sant is the latest Featured mAss Kicker from Belgium. We met her on our trip to Belgium in October of last year! We bonded immediately with her over of moules and frites (mussells and fries.) It was very interesting hearing the survivor perspective from another country! The stories from other countries are so similar! We think these stories can unite us all against these horrible diseases! Check out Danielle’s story…
mK: Thanks for doing this Danielle! How did you find out about your diagnosis? What was your official diagnosis?
DS: I had my first mammogram and the doctor noticed something suspicious. So she sent me for a biopsy. They found malignant micro-calcifications in my right breast.
mK: What were your symptoms?
DS: I had none.
mK: Wow! Good thing you had that mammogram! How long did it take to get your diagnosis?
DS: The end of July my first mammogram, August 1 they did the biopsy, August 8 was my diagnosis, August 22 my pre-op interview and August 30 I had my mastectomy and reconstruction by deep-skin-flap.
That gave me a tummy tuck as a bonus!
mK: HAHAHA! What were your first thoughts when you got your breast cancer diagnosis?
DS: “Damn, now this!” (I had a thyroid operation in nov 2011 and a bleading pollip removed from my uterus)
And at the same time, “shit, my daughter is only 5 years old, so young, will she remember me?”
mK: Whoa… What did you know about cancer when you first found out about your cancer?
DS: Too much! I was a nurse!
mK: That gives you a very unique perspective! What cancer support groups are you involved with in Belgium? What do they do for you?
DS: Xtrakan; we work on our conditioning (fitness), talk together, laugh together, cry together. I am also involved with
Levensloop (Foundation Against Cancer)/Relais pour la Vie(Relay for Life)
mK: I had no idea Relay for Life is an international organization! What motivates you?
DS: My 7 year old daughter motivates me and my “love for life.”
mK: Let’s get to know you better… What makes you laugh, cry, angry?
DS: I can laugh with my daughter, the sun shining, the birds singing, … I enjoy the little things in life.
I cry when people don’t seem to understand that even if you look good you don’t always feel good, especially when its family!
Angry?… Life is too precious and short to be angry!
mK: OK, What would you say is the most interesting thing you’ve ever done?
DS: First… having my daughter. Second… witnessing an open-heart-surgery as a student nurse.
mK: What is the toughest challenge a survivor faces?
DS: Making others understand how you really feel. People need to understand how hard it is to put up a happy face
mK: What is your guilty pleasure?
DS: That’s easy… chocolate !
mK: Belgium has excellent chocolate… Everyday must be filled with temptation! If you could relive any moment in your life, what would it be? Why?
DS: My last internship at nursing school, this time I did my internship in Liechtenstein.
mK: What are is next on your agenda?
DS: My birthday is coming up soon 🙂 I don’t have an agenda, I live day to day.
mK: Any advice for people or loved ones that get daunting diagnoses?
DS: Don’t give up, keep your head high, BUT when you need to… cry and scream! Let others know how you really feel!
mK: Tell us something about yourself that people probably didn’t know… anything.
DS: I would love to live in Austria if I had the chance!
mK: Any parting words for all the mAss Kickers?
DS: Keep kicking ass 🙂
Thanks for doing the interview Danielle! We will be high lighting more international mAss Kickers to show that there is life after a tumor/cancer diagnosis… stay tuned!