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Running from Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Awareness Run

In June 2015, at the age of 42, Suzanne Tanner went to her doctor for her first routine mammogram. Shortly after that, she learned that had stage 3 breast cancer, and since her tumors were not palpable, without a mammogram, her cancer would have likely never been detected by doctors.

Over the next year, she endured chemotherapy, a bilateral mastectomy, radiation treatments, and 18 targeted therapy infusions. In January of 2017, she underwent a breast reconstruction surgery and recalled the date well because it was when she knew she was finally DONE.

Despite being done with her treatments, Suzanne will continue to take a medication called Tamoxifen for the next eight years (for a total of ten years) to lessen the chance of her cancer reoccurring.

She credits her incredible support crew for helping her through this entire process. From neighbors that helped walk her dog, to casual acquaintances from across the country that sent her hats and scarves, to her family that literally put their lives on hold so that she could have a chance at hers.

Most notably, Suzanne's diagnosis caused her to re-evaluate the way that she lives in general. Before cancer, she enjoyed her job (and having her own small business), but it didn't leave a lot of time for her to LIVE. As she was nearing the end of radiation, she decided not to return to her previous job. It was a leap to decide to run her business full-time, but she knew she needed the change. She also rediscovered running, and exercise has become a big part of her life after cancer.

Suzanne started her Instagram account to show the world that there is life after cancer, and it can be strong and healthy. Running, cycling, and strength classes have helped her focus on what she can do, not what she can't and to live in the present.

Breast Cancer Survivor

It's hard to imagine life after cancer when you're in it, so she hopes that she can show a glimpse of what it could look like to others while educating and supporting them.

Survivorship is a roller coaster, and I call it "surviving survivorship." From fear of reoccurrence to lingering side effects, to new side effects, survivorship has presented some challenges I wasn't always prepared for, but find it's all more manageable with a good network of friends, family and fellow survivors.

Her advice to those walking down this same path is to "take this one day at a time.

For some, the treatments are longer (and harsher) than others, but it's still a process, and each of us had to hear "you have cancer," so it's important to honor what you're feeling, ask for help when you need it."

Suzanne says that her personal heroes are all the women who came before her. "I thank them for their strength and advocacy so that I could be where I am today."
You can continue to follow Suzanne's journey on Instagram at @running_from_cancer.


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