This intensive care nurse sees every day as a gift.
After a routine mammogram came back with abnormal results, Metairie native Michelle Verdin had a breast biopsy in spring 2013. A lover of the outdoors, Verdin was taking a walk when her surgeon called to tell her that the biopsy had indicated cancer. “The call came while walking in the park with my mother, who is also a breast cancer survivor,” she says. “I immediately started crying, and my mother knew before I could even tell her.”
Sharing the news with her husband and children was Verdin’s next step, which she says took considerable bravery. “Telling my husband and children was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do,” she says. “Your first thought is, ‘How is this going to affect their peace of mind and stability — and who’s going to take care of my family if I’m not here?’”
Verdin underwent a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction in December 2013, followed by chemotherapy. “I remained positive and determined to finish my chemotherapy treatments and get back to my ‘normal’ life,” she says. “By God’s love and grace, I made it through all my treatments with minimal side effects and no complications.”
Along with her faith, the support Verdin received from family, friends and even strangers, helped her stay upbeat throughout her treatment. Now, she passes that support on to other women fighting breast cancer — and she takes care to tell her loved ones daily how much she cares for them. “The love and bond I share with my husband and children has never been stronger, and we are so grateful for all God has blessed us with,” she says. “I definitely don’t sweat the small stuff anymore.”