CHICAGO (Fox 32 News) - One in eight women will be told they have breast cancer. It is an alarming diagnosis that can often leave them feeling frightened and alone.
But one Chicago woman has taken her experience publicly to let them know they are not alone. She has documented every step of her treatment to help not only herself, but also hundreds of thousands of others.
Deb Song has been a media relations specialist for 20 years at Rush University Medicine. Her job is to work with reporters to help patients and doctors share their stories.
She never expected that one day she would have her own story to share after the news from her doctor.
"She had to tell me I have good news and bad news. The good news is we caught it early the bad news is…I am sorry but you do have breast cancer,” Song said.
It was shortly after that that song worked with Rush to document what she calls her journey with breast cancer -- both the good and the bad, including the emotional family reactions.
"I'm thinking in my heart of hearts it would be heavy not to tell my story because I'm constantly asking others to do that,” Song said.
Her story includes a family history with the disease, her early diagnosis that so far -- post surgery -- has her cancer free, but also her sadness with not being able to be the active person she once was and her never-ending fear that the cancer can always come back.
"Cancer throws the sharp edges you never see coming and the other thing about cancer is that, no matter how strong you are and you say I've got this, you're going to have moments -- good and bad and ugly moments -- and you are going to get through them. It's not a linear process,” Song said. "You go through these moments. Why me? What did I do wrong? Why is my genetics…you start thinking that way, but that’s a rabbit hole You don't want to go down. What good is it going to do?"
Song’s videos have done a lot of good. The response on social media has surprised the hospital and her.
"People have been calling me a warrior, survivor,” Song said. “It's been an overwhelming response. I never expected people saying, ‘wow thank you for sharing. Now I know what I'm going to be going through.’"
"What I've learned from my experience is, you can't take life for granted,” Song added. "If you are diagnosed, you can get through it with strength of friends and community.”