Wall of Hope: Stories of Courage & Inspiration
“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Jodi Tottori spent July 4, 2012, like most other Hawaii residents – enjoying the spectacular fireworks show at Magic Island with her family.
Two days later on Friday, July 6, her physician called with the news that Jodi, at age 47, had breast cancer.
“She said I had to remove my left breast on Monday and would have six weeks of radiation,” Jodi remembers.
“When the doctor told me I had cancer, I immediately asked what were the next steps,” Jodi continues. “After I hung up the phone, devastation hit me. I cried so hard my face hurt. I could barely talk to my sister on the phone. All I could say was, ‘I have cancer!’”
Thankfully, Jodi’s cancer was caught at an early stage, meaning she didn’t need any treatment following her double mastectomy at the Kapiolani Women’s Center.
“Knowing I had Kapiolani’s team of doctors and staff providing the best medical care gave me the confidence to go through with the surgery. Although it was a tough one, I came out with flying colors,” Jodi says.
During her brief stay at the medical center, Jodi encountered another patient who went through the exact same surgery with the same doctors just hours before her surgery. They recognized each other later that year at the annual Kapiolani tree-trimming ceremony and have become close friends.
“Since then we’ve kept in touch and celebrate our ‘anniversary’ of being cancer free!” Jodi says.
Jodi is today doing “fantastic” and enjoying life one day at a time. She is looking forward to her new job title – retiree.
“Life is full of unexpected events, some wonderful, some unbelievably challenging, but choose life and give it your all,” Jodi says. “This is your battle, but know you are not alone. You have a team of doctors, family and friends at your side. The strength will come from within you, and at times from others, but it will be there, and it will be an epic battle.”
Published on: October 30, 2017