MEDFORD, Ore. -- Nicole DeFlavio has been cutting hair at Sarahndipity Salon in Medford for the last five years.
"Last year just got health insurance and decided to get a mammogram," DeFlavio said.
That last year proved to be the toughest of her life.
Doctors discovered that she had four large lesions growing on her body, DeFlavio said. The summer of 2018 started with a lot of unknowns.
"It came back as invasive ductal carcinoma," DeFlavio said. Doctors immediately got her on a treatment plan.
"They treated me with chemotherapy and 37 rounds of radiation. I lost hair and had to get a double mastectomy," she said.
Being the sole-provider for her household, DeFlavio kept doing what she loves despite battling the effects of chemo.
"You’re faced with your own mortality and you have to make sure your life is in check and you have done right by your family."
In October of 2018 Nicole was able to have a special moment after doctors surgically removed the cancer.
"That was an amazing feeling," DeFlavio said — but cancer doesn't play fair.
“After my biopsy came back, after my mastectomy, they discovered it was more aggressive than what they thought, so they have to go back and do another year of infusion," DeFlavio said.
With every journey and every fight comes something to look forward to.
"On December 24th I get my exchange and all my ports taken out and just get to be a real person."
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