Mother of 4 diagnosed with breast cancer, unaware it ran in her - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Mother of 4 diagnosed with breast cancer, unaware it ran in her family

(Source: WTOL) (Source: WTOL)
TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) -

Breast cancer crosses generations, often passed from mothers to daughters.

But Sarah Nadolny didn't grow up with her birth mom and had no idea breast cancer was coming for her.

The call came when she was at work.

Her OB-GYN told her that her test came back positive. She had breast cancer.

Those words were shocking, but it wasn't the first time Sarah heard them.

She'd found her birth mother two years earlier, and their first phone conversation went like this:

"She says, 'Sarah there's two things you need to know.' She said, 'You are Greek as 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' so welcome to the family.'  Then she laughed and said, 'The second thing is, I had breast cancer at 46, so you need to get tested. you need to be proactive about this," Sarah said.

So at 35, Sarah got her first mammogram.

Everything was fine.

But, this past December, on the eve of her 37th birthday, she and her husband Ryan were watching a movie.

Her birth mother's words came rushing back.

"The girl in the show gets breast cancer so it kind of struck me. So I'm like okay, I'm gonna do an exam, under the blanket. And he's ignoring me watching TV, and I tell him i found something," Sarah said. "The next day was my birthday, so I called the doctor and said I wanted a mammogram done."

Sarah was advised to wait a month.

"I said that's fine and then she called me back later and she said based on your medical history since your mother had breast cancer, let's do a mammogram," Sarah said. 

"She diagnosed me with stage 2B invasive ductal carcinoma and sent me over to see an oncologist and your head's just spinning," Sarah said a mammogram, an ultra sound and a biopsy later. "When you don't have answers and you don't know what you're dealing with and you feel like you have a death sentence...I just want to deal with my kids and my family and not deal with any of this."

"It's just such a panic because you bounce from I'm gonna be fine, whatever it is, I'm gonna be absolutely fine. And then the other side comes in where I can't leave my kids, I have four daughters! This poor guy should not have to deal with four daughters!" Sarah said. " I told my mother, I said, 'This is not the way i wanted to bond with you. You know, we could have shared so many other things. It didn't have to be breast cancer.' But at the same time, she saved me, by showing up and telling me and being immediately proactive. You have to do this, you have to get checked."

The last 8 months have been 16 rounds of chemo, surgery to remove tumors and lymph nodes and a double mastectomy in June.

Sarah's birth mother was finally able to help her daughter in a way no one else could.  

"I was immediately able to know where to go. She gave me a path. It wasn't so scary. She took some of that fear out of it," Sarah said. 

This year, Sarah and her birth mother will walk the path of the Survivors parade, forming that pink ribbon together.

"It's so exciting, it's so emotional and beautiful," Sarah said. "To see all those women cheering and all the support and love it's just huge, it's tangible. I thought about it and I said, 'This year, I get to go stand at the very tip of the ribbon.'"

Sarah is experiencing some complications with her breast reconstruction, but plans to walk with her birth mother, her mom and her family in the Toledo race.

She tells me it will be amazing to see all the women who have gone so much further in this journey than she has. 

That will give her hope.

We can all do our part to help fund research and help women and men just like Sarah, by registering for the Race for the Cure on September 29 in Findlay and September 30 in Toledo. 

Copyright 2018 WTOL. All rights reserved.

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