For Christine Egan, a certified health coach and author of The Healthy Girl's Guide to Breast Cancer, man's best friend was also a lifesaver. Christine was lying on the couch one night when her dog Zoe began pawing at her upper left breast. There was a lump. Though Christine had just gotten a breast exam at her ob-gyn's office, "I followed through and made an appointment with the radiologist to have a mammogram," she told POPSUGAR. Christine was again given the all-clear, but sensing that something was off, she asked for an ultrasound. This time, doctors discovered that she had stage 2 breast cancer. "I was shocked," Christine said. "Being a healthy eater, runner, and mother, I never thought I would be the one diagnosed at the young age of 42. Cancer was the furthest thing from my mind."
Once she recovered from the news, Christine made it a point to keep up her healthy lifestyle and sharpen her focus. She took her treatment one step at a time, while creating space for the important things in her life. "I was forced to slow down while undergoing treatments, and that's when I realized all the activities I was saying yes to that didn't really matter," said Christine, now 50. "Being with my family, watching a movie, cooking a meal, walking in nature were all things I valued, and I never made those things a priority until cancer."
Asked what advice she'd give others with breast cancer, Christine said you have to become the CEO of your body. "I took it upon myself to become the chief medical researcher of cancer material, a healthy chef for myself and my family, and a great interviewer of doctors," she explained. "I never left any decision to be made solely by a medical practitioner. I did research, asked questions, said yes, said no, and — when I needed to — kept my head down to get through what was needed to get well."