I'm a competitive swimmer, and not even breast cancer was going to keep me from my races.
I stood on the swim platform at the stern of the Sea Satin, a 36-foot Dutch Steel ocean cruiser, shivering, teeth chattering with the frigid 60° F water of the English Channel lapping over my feet and ankles. I was wearing only my navy blue speedo swim suit, white silicone cap and green tinted goggles. There was a red blinking light clipped to my goggle straps and a green glowing light stick double-safety pinned to the back straps of my suit. It was dark — just past 10:30 p.m. I stared down into the black choppy waters, willing myself to jump in.
Exactly four months earlier, on March 27, 2012, I underwent a lumpectomy in my left breast. My breast surgeon at the University of Michigan, Dr. Lisa Newman, removed a 2.2 centimeter mass and five lymph nodes. I was 44 years old and one day.
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