Tiffany Dyba is a dedicated Career Coach & Consultant based in New York City. She enjoys helping people recognize their professional calling while helping them to take risks. Tiffany has a strong background in leadership and recruitment from companies such as Tiffany & Co and Burberry. As a Consultant, she works with organizations to help identify and attract top talent so they can effectively grow their business. Tiffany was diagnosed with Stage 1 Breast Cancer in 2018 and has been working to create awareness for women diagnosed under the age of 40.
Tiffany first felt a lump in her left breast while on vacation with her husband in Iceland. Her instincts (and the anxious part of her brain) told her that something might be wrong, even though she was under 40 and felt healthy. When she returned home, she went for a mammogram and ultimately discovered that she had Stage 1 breast cancer. She decided to have a bilateral mastectomy, followed by chemo (which she’s currently undergoing) and radiation. She also decided to chronicle her experiences with cancer and started a blog called “C.D.R.E.A.M.,” or “Cancer doesn’t rule everything around me” (a line spun off the Wu-Tang Clan since Tiffany’s a hip-hop lover).
On this episode, Tiffany and I talk about the importance of patients advocating for themselves and how she keeps her cancer in perspective as she lives her life. Throughout the episode, we also touch on why she’s grateful for the doctors who listen, the family and friends who ensure she’ll never have to be alone during a chemo or radiation treatment, and the people who, like her, are telling the real, raw stories of cancer.
Here are some of the things Tiffany and I chatted about:
- The moment when she discovered the lump, and why she didn’t say anything to anyone
- Why she pushed for answers upfront from the ultrasound technicians and radiologist
- The day she got the call from her OB-GYN telling her that she did, in fact, have breast cancer
- Her fear, during her follow-up ultrasound, that cancer could have spread to her right breast
- Why choosing to have a double mastectomy was one of the easier decisions along this journey
- The beginning of C.D.R.E.A.M. and why it felt important to share raw, authentic experiences
- What it means to her, in practice, to not give up her entire life because she has cancer
- How her husband Steve has been her ultimate supporter at every turn in this journey
- Her biggest cancer-related fear, and why she doesn’t expect it to go away
- #hiphopchemo: Tiffany’s chemo prep ritual that you just have to witness on Instagram
- The resources she’s relied on over the past eight months, including:
-Her fantastic OB-GYN, Dr. Margaret Durante at Mt. Sinai Hospital in NYC
-Grancer, the blog by a breast cancer survivor that inspired Tiffany to start her own
Krista Gray of GoldSquare, who helped Tiffany set up her C.D.R.E.A.M. blog (as well as designed Tiffany’s career coaching and consulting website)