After vacation, she checked in with her doctor.
“I had DCIS Stage 2, Grade 3,” she says. “We caught it early enough that the doctor suggested we perform a lumpectomy on the left side plus a round of radiation, but I didn’t want that.”
Averill says she saw what one of her best friends went through with radiation and decided she’d rather remove her breasts entirely.
“I wanted a double mastectomy," Averill says. "I didn’t want to worry about the other breast.”
As it turns out, she made a good decision, because during the procedure the surgeon discovered a cancerous tumor on the other side, too.
While Averill argues that her bout with cancer was relatively easy compared to what many of her other friends and community members have gone through, that doesn’t make it any less important to talk about. And as an active member of her running community, Averill says the experience has given her an avenue to help other women.
“The running community really helped me,” she says. “I don’t think I could have gotten through it without them.”
What’s more, as a local business owner, she meets women every day who are either battling breast cancer themselves, are in remission or have a close friend or family member in treatment. As a cancer survivor, she feels well-equipped to support the women around her. But how? And what can we all learn from Averill to better support women in our communities?
We caught up with the store owner to find out more: