CLEVELAND — “Nobody ever expects to hear the words: You have cancer. When my doctor called and said the biopsy that I had came back cancerous, it was really shocking.”
3News’ Danielle Wiggins shared her story Friday morning.
“The Cleveland Clinic, as soon as I turned 40, they had sent me e-mails to schedule a mammogram.”
She scheduled the appointment for December.
“In November, I touched my breast tissue -- and it was something, like this doesn’t feel right. Something feels off with this."
Danielle's mammogram results came back abnormal. The Clinic scheduled a diagnostic mammogram for her in February, which showed the small lump Danielle spotted in November to be an area of concern.
"So I went two weeks later for a biopsy, and that came back cancerous.”
She said it was a moment where she began wondering if it was because of diet or something she had done wrong – but the breast surgeon told her “sometimes it’s just bad luck.”
RELATED: Breast cancer awareness: 3News' Danielle Wiggins talks with Cleveland Clinic doctor about self exams, mammograms and more after her own diagnosis
“She said I had the most common form, but she said, ‘But you’re 40.’ I started crying. I just learned that nationally the guideline is 50 years old to get a mammogram. If I would not have gotten a mammogram until I was 50, I would not have made it until I was 50 years old.”
Danielle also discussed sharing the news with her family.
“Having to sit down with your kids and tell them that you’re sick when you don’t feel sick and you don’t look sick seems surreal. I have a 13, going on 14-year-old, son and an 11-year-old daughter. We use this to kind of teach them, here’s what we do with our fear so that it doesn’t consume us. It’s really holding on to that hope and rays of sunshine that you see each and every day when you’re down.”
Danielle said she has also been hearing from many people who ask how she’s feeling.
“I don’t know how I feel sometimes. It’s just moment by moment. In this moment, I feel great. Maybe in five more minutes it will be like, ‘Oh my gosh, I cannot believe I have cancer. I am only 40 years old.’”
So what can you do?
“Even just showing me grace and mercy – and then showing other people around you grace and mercy – because you never know what people are going through.”
She also asked for prayers.
“I want life. I want people who bring life around me. On the morning show, it has been a great distraction. You’ll hear me in the background laughing, but it helps because it brings life.”
And also one more important request:
“The biggest thing I want people to do... take your health seriously.”