Suffolk cancer survivor shares story, aims to empower others to take control of their health

NORFOLK, Va. - At 29 years old, Natasha Ewa went from marital bliss to a double mastectomy and intensive chemotherapy months later.

“I have to look at my scars when I take my clothes off,” Ewa, now 32, explained to News 3 reporter Brian Hill. “I have to take a pill every single day.”

But three years ago, life was good for the Suffolk resident. She was healthy, working out daily and planning for the exciting new chapter of marriage.

All was well until “I actually felt the lump in July of 2016," Ewa said. "The radiologist did do the ultrasound, but his response was, 'I don’t see anything.' I was so occupied with my wedding cake, my wedding dress, I was just like, 'I’ll worry about that later. He said there’s nothing there.'”

But a few days after getting married, she told us her husband felt the lump, which had now grown to the size of a golf ball.

She went back to the doctor and was diagnosed with breast cancer at Sentara Virginia Beach Comprehensive Breast Center.

“It was angering, but, of course, it was scary. The first thought I had was death,” Ewa explained.

Now that she’s in remission, Ewa said one of the things she wants to do is inspire other people to pay attention to their bodies and take control of their health.

"You gotta know what your breasts feel like, what your ribcage feels like, so you know that when a professional tells you that you are too young, you can advocate for yourself and say, 'I know I am, but...this doesn’t feel normal,'" she described.

Related: 'I bawled. I got goosebumps' Virginia Beach parents react to breakthrough treatment for cystic fibrosis 

The disease didn't run in her family, and she said doctors told her she was too young.

Ewa is still in active treatment and admits she fears the cancer returning.

However, instead of letting that get her down, she's putting all her focus into her passion projects.

“It takes away from my mind going to a dark place when my mind is idle.”

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.