CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – It’s been one year since a Clay County sheriff’s deputy was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer at age 27. Now, she's asking everyone to wear pink on Oct. 22, the day of her diagnosis, to help spread awareness.
She’s undergone chemotherapy, radiation, a double mastectomy and most recently, reconstructive surgery.
Over the past month, the mother of four has been at home recovering from her latest surgery, and she’s eager to get back to normal life. She is heading back to work at the Clay County Jail this weekend.
“I am excited to go back. I am ready to get back to the people that I work with," Altstatt said. "I'm ready to see them again."
Altstatt always has a smile on her face, but admits the past year hasn’t been easy. She describes the past 12 months as the toughest in her life.
“Even though it was a rough time for all of us, we always try to make the best of it because you never know," Altstatt said. "It's just a blessing that I got through this."
During a self-breast exam, Altstatt discovered a lump. She said with no family history, it came as a shock. The cancer spread quickly and doctors removed more than 20 lymph nodes during a surgery earlier this year.
Even though her journey is coming to a close with the rest of her reconstructive surgery slated for December, Altstatt said she won’t stop advocating and educating others.
“It doesn’t matter if you are young or if you are old. October is the month they try to tell you, but I don’t care what month it is. Go out and get tested. Go get checked because I don’t have any family history and I had it," she said. "It is better to catch it early than too late."