My Story

Hello, my name is Catherine Emnas, I am a Breast Cancer survivor and this is my story.

"And one day, just like that...
You will rediscover your light,
You will embrace your inner warrior,
You will snatch your power back,
And the whole game will change."
Catherine Emnas
Founder, KittyStrong

When it Happened

My Whole World Changed Forever

Early July 2018, I went for my yearly examination. I had blood work and a full physical done. All of my test results came back completely normal. I was extremely stressed at this time due to personal reasons and by the end of July I was experiencing symptoms. I had developed a small cluster of lumps on the side of my right breast.

By the end of August 2018, I consulted with my plastic surgeon as I wanted to make sure it wasn’t anything serious. The doctor initially suspected the lumps to be benign, however he still recommended I get a mammogram, just to be safe.

The Diagnosis

Stay Strong

Mid September 2018, I scheduled and had my mammogram done. The results came back almost immediately and my doctor urged me to have a full biopsy done. I knew this couldn’t be good, but at this point we still weren’t sure what it was.

September 26th, 2018 I received the phone call that forever changed my life. I was not prepared for what my doctor was about to say. My biopsy results concluded that I was positive for malignant neoplasm of the breast.
Also known as Breast Cancer.

The Surgery

Love, Family, Hope

By the middle of October 2018, my doctor advised me that I would need a bilateral mastectomy. Although there were no positive results from my biopsy where cancer was revealed in my left breast, I decided that a prophylactic mastectomy for my left breast would be a good idea so that this would not be something I would have to face again later down the road along with symmetrical reasons.

10/25/2018 I had the biggest surgery of my life. Over (6) six hours on the operating table with two amazing and experienced surgeons (1 breast surgeon, 1 plastic surgeon) worked diligently to eradicate any and all traces of the cancer. My breast surgeon opened me up, removed my implants, removed my breasts, removed (9) nine cancer tumors in one breast (right breast), then removed (17) seventeen axillary lymph nodes and (1) one benign tumor, all on that same right breast. The cancer had spread to my nipple, so they had no choice but to remove those too. Once they had the infected areas out, they were sent to pathology. My plastic surgeon placed expanders and stitched me back up. 

The Sentence

TIME SERVED

About a month later, November 2018, I received my complete treatment plan. I remember that my heart was in my stomach the entire time my doctor explained what I would have to go through.

Beginning with chemo therapy for 5-6 months that included sixteen intravenous chemo doses and twelve taken orally. Then, I was advised I would require 28 treatments of concentrated radiation. Since the areas that were infected by the cancer were removed, my next step was to make sure that the cancer cells would be killed too. Pathology showed that about 4-6 out of the 17 axillary lymph nodes did come back positive for cancer which made me Stage IIIA, Breast Cancer.

Bald is Beautiful

Choose Hope And Anything is Possible

In the beginning of December 2018, I had began my battle and serving my (5) five long months of chemo therapy sessions that included 16 intravenous chemo doses and 12 taken orally. I did a lot of acupuncture to help with the nausea, constipation, stress, anxiety, neuropathy, and much more. I lost all my hair by my second treatment and could barely eat or keep solid foods down. Everything tasted like metal. It was a long and brutal fight, but I kept strong and I tried to remain positive the entire time. As I posted updates regarding my progress to my social media feeds, people who followed my story began using the term “KittyStrong” and it stuck.

The Long Battle

STAY STRONG AND HAVE HOPE

By the end of May 2019, I was given (6) six weeks to recover and to get my immunity back up, before I started my daily radiation doses. 

By June 2019, I was finally at the end of my sentence, keep in mind nothing is guaranteed and at any point my results could have extended my treatment plan or worst…. (28) twenty-eight treatments, (5) five days a week and I could finally see light at the end of the tunnel. The 3rd or July was my last radiation treatment and I was able to spend the 4th of July not only celebrating our independence, but also celebrating finally being done with treatments.

Cancer Free

As of July 15Th, 2019

On July 15, 2019 I was officially announced as cancer free!

I was overwhelmed with joy and I thank god everyday for giving me the strength to make it through.

For anyone fighting your battle with cancer, whether it’s yourself or someone you care about, please stay strong and have hope.

Today, I am motivated and moved through my experience. This site is the beginning of what I want to accomplish. It will assist in a major way where we can come together and raise funds where portions of these proceeds will go towards an institute or foundation in search for the cure. One day, I dream to have my own research institute where I may directly impact and drive the finding of this cure so that people all over the world would no longer have to suffer from this awful disease. It was estimated that in 2019 roughly 1.7M people alone in the US would be newly diagnosed with cancer roughly 606K would die from it. Let’s find a cure and take these number of deaths down!! You CAN help accomplish this goal by purchasing items on this site. Even sharing the site and my story to others can help lead us to the cure! Join me in the search and together, we can make a difference.

Catherine Emnas

Founder, KittyStrong

Breast Cancer Survivor

Thank You for all of your love and support. 

OCTOBER IS BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

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