Em and I Cancer

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I Already Knew: My Breast Cancer Story

I was in the kitchen of our last house. I had adjusted my schedule to not go to my studio on Mondays; I let other trainers fill the walls with their clients instead. Kevin was home but would be leaving on his next biz trip the following day. Two year old Emma was playing at my feet while I busy bodied around half playing with her and half tidying up after breakfast. I looked down at my phone (which is ALWAYS on silent, without vibrations at that) and noticed 2 missed calls….from my Radiologist I had just seen 5 days earlier. I noticed the “voicemail” alert. I already knew.

The day before....

The day before, actually the morning of the picture you see above, I was on my treadmill knocking out 13.1 miles-the amount of a half marathon. I didn’t intend on doing that initially. It was a crappy Oregon morning and I knew I needed to get a training run in for the Rock n Roll Nashville Half I was going to do with Kev the following month. I set the goal of 6 miles. When I reached that marker, my inner voice said, “Steph, you better keep going”, so I did. Every mile that followed also included, “Steph, you better keep going” until I saw that official 13.1 completed. I already knew.

He knew, too...

Even though I saw the voicemail alert, I didn’t listen. I dialed the number of my Radiologist and I’ll never forget the words that followed: “Steph, I can’t believe I’m saying this but you have breast cancer.” The seconds that followed included a very happy two year old, literally at my feet, smiling up at me. It also included a husband staring at me from the living room, wondering what was being said. With a simple look from me, he knew, too.

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The doctors knew, too...

The conversation then becomes somewhat fuzzy. Lots of “caught it at Stage 0” and “lumpectomy” chatter along with “we’ll need to do radiation for 6 weeks before” and then a casual “then more than likely chemo after” and can’t forget that “tamoxifen for life” was thrown around as well. With Em still at my feet, I interrupted the doc. “Dr. Thurmond, I appreciate everything you’re saying but that’s not going to be my path. Let’s just jump to double mastectomy talk.” I already knew.


After that the conversation took on a different tone. “Wow, I’m not sure I’ve known many to go that route so early” and “Are you sure?” I promptly said, “Doctor, I have my two year old happily smiling at me. I’ve always said that if breast cancer was ever going to be a part of my story that I was going to ‘Angelina Jolie that shit. I’m going to keep my power if I’m able to.'” I would then be scheduled with a breast surgeon later that day that would also “question” my decision, especially because she literally had to get out a magnifying glass to even find it on the images sent to her. After an hour of getting to know each other, the surgeons was fully on board. She knew, too.

SHE always knows...

I truly pray that you never have to hear those words. What one does with such devastating news is so personal. For me, after getting off the phone, I told Kevin I needed a minute and I went upstairs. I did what I could…I grabbed my gratitude journal and just started listing all of the things I was grateful for-another “power grab” for myself. Things like the following poured out without hesitation: a beautiful sunny day-a job that I loved-a happy daughter-a marriage I was proud of fighting for-finding the cancer so early-using my voice-being able to keep my power-and the list goes on. There was never another treatment option for me, especially when I was told 5 days before that nothing showed up on the mammogram or the ultrasound. Gratefully, after telling me nothing was found on the images, my Radiologist was still curious about the pain I was experiencing on the day of my imaging. I told her I knew something was wrong so I immediately jumped on the proactive “blind biopsy” train that she was suggesting that day. I already knew.

This isn’t a post to gain a response of any kind. My intention is for you to understand the importance of listening to your inner knowing, too. There’s more to my story but I’m trying to keep this length from being skipped over, haha! A month and one day later I would receive my double mastectomy. A week after that I would be sitting in the office of the Oncologist assigned to me to receive the news that they got it all but what what he said after that is what will stick with me the most: “Steph, I’ve been doing this for 30 years and I’ve never seen anything like it. You ended up having more than we thought, it was highly aggressive and I have no idea how it wasn’t invasive elsewhere. If you would have waited 6 months you would have had a much different diagnosis, likely Stage 4.” I already knew.

I’m not saying all of this to scare you but to hopefully encourage you take your intuition + health to the next level. We all lead insane lives these days and the noises and distractions away from ourselves can be deafening…almost to the point of absolute devastation. I’m here to tell you this: YOU are worth the time…SHE is worth the time. SHE always knows.

Thank you for letting me share that part of my journey with you. If you’d like a bit more about my mindset and breast cancer path, I’m attaching an old podcast interview I did about those early days below. A couple weeks after this was recorded, I would be making the proactive decision to also get a partial hysterectomy-taking everything but one ovary-but that’s a story for another day. 😉 I hope that at the time you are reading this, you are healthy and well. Only you know….xoxo



Steph King, FNLP

Steph King, FNLP

As a Functional Nutrition and Lifestyle Practitioner, I hold your hand while working in the gaps of your life's story to determine the root causes of your health's foundational cracks. You are safe. You are home.

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Hi, I'm Steph

I hold your hand while we restructure your innermost haven using personalized functional nutrition + fitness + lifestyle needs. Together we’ll solidify your inner framework by: filling foundational cracks + installing noise reduction + locking/opening doors + tearing down/moving walls + taking steps + finessing skills + exploring your landscape + planting some seeds. You are home.

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