In the fall of 2014, Christina Best began her much-anticipated job as an English teacher at the rural northeastern North Carolina high school she had attended only four years earlier.
“I loved my students. I even had siblings of the students I went to school with in my classroom,” Best, who was 24 at the time, told Healthline.
While her enthusiasm for teaching was great, the joys of the job were hampered by a nagging and sometimes severe pain in her chest.
In spring 2016, a biopsy confirmed the pain was caused by a cancerous tumor. Her doctors eventually diagnosed it as stage 2A breast cancer.