LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)– Mary Stevens was diagnosed with Breast Cancer just before her 70th birthday two years ago. Now, she sits down with News 10 to tell how she overcame the diagnosis.

At the time of diagnosis what Mary thought was pain from bra underwire was actually an invasive ductile carcinoma approaching stage two. She was told that she would be okay although it would be a struggle. Because the diagnosis was caught in an earlier stage, it was more treatable.

Stevens says she chose not to be fearful despite the challenges, “You have to be strong. You have no choice but to be strong. You lose weight, you gain weight. You’re tired all the time.”

Throughout her time with cancer, Mary remembers family and friends helping her to thrive in different ways. Some cleaned, some cooked, some sent flowers. Her family even planned a surprise drive-by for her 70th birthday, which she remembers as on of her sweetest moments.

Since her recovery, Mary now helps women prepare for their battle with breast cancer using journals that she kept throughout her treatment.