She lived a typical life filling her days as she believes most Americans do, laying on the couch watching TV, paying off a mortgage and attending children’s school events. “I didn’t realize it at the time, but, looking back, I was very lazy. I did not have much ambition or drive,” Curtis said. “I was just living day-to-day and trying to get through another week.”
In the daily hustle of life, cancer was a word that never came to mind for Nicole. In fact, Curtis expressed that she was so busy just living life that she never considered everything could change in an instant. “I only thought of cancer as something that happened to someone else – not to me,” she said.
When Nicole discovered the lump, she waited a couple of weeks before seeing a doctor about it, sharing that at only 31 years old she couldn’t fathom it could actually be breast cancer. “I didn’t want to think that it could be anything serious. I went to my regular check-ups, and this lump didn’t seem to be like anything I had been told to look for during self-exams,” Curtis said.
But over the next month the lump grew, and as it grew so did Nicole’s anxiety, leading her to make an appointment for a mammogram and ultrasound. Those results would change her life.
When the doctor came in to deliver the news, Nicole sensed the news was not good, and her intuition was unfortunately right. “He told me the lump was very concerning and that it needed to be biopsied,” Curtis said.
Completely in shock at this news, Nicole said she was devoid of emotion during her appointment, but that as soon as she got back to her car, she sat in the parking lot and cried thinking to her herself that she couldn’t die; she had kids to raise.
A week after that life-changing appointment, Nicole had the lump biopsied by Dr. Priscilla Strom, a general surgeon and breast specialist at Longstreet Clinic. The biopsy confirmed the diagnosis – Nicole had an aggressive form of breast cancer.