Jodi Cali, who was treated for breast cancer in January 2020 at NYU Langone Health’s Perlmutter Cancer Center by medical oncologist Maryann J. Kwa, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Medicine, began to feel unwell with unrelenting fever, nausea, and headaches. Initially, she attributed the feelings to the side effects of chemotherapy, but soon discovered that others in her social circle were feeling sick as well. By late March—after the worst of her symptoms subsided—she was diagnosed with 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
While the effects of COVID-19 lingered as she resumed her cancer treatments, she was able to exercise and returned to work as a hairdresser near her home on Staten Island in June. In September, she received a mastectomy, performed by Magdalena Plasilova, MD, PhD, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Surgery.
“When you first get the cancer diagnosis, you think, ‘This is the end,’” Ms. Cali tells Oprah Magazine. “Then they told me it hadn’t spread, and I let myself feel that I was going to be OK. So I guess when COVID hit, I just wasn’t ready to give up.”
Read more from Oprah Magazine.