I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer (yep sucks I know) November of 2011, a few days before my 28th birthday. My attitude began to develop into the main tool I needed to get this fixed! My new found attitude is what brought me to the awareness I could beat this disease (hopefully.)
A month after my diagnosis things began to move quickly going from one test to the next to find out if the cancer had spread and what specific type I had. According to the tests the cancer was in my left breast and had begun to spread to the auxiliary lymph nodes. I was advised that a lumpectomy would remove the lump and I can undergo hormone therapy to eliminate any chances of spreading. During that time I had to get tested every other month. I started to feel worse than when all the treatment started so I decided to change doctors and go to a Breast Cancer specialist at Memorial hospital, who educated me on the type of cancer I was facing.
At the age of 29 the cancer had metastasized. Thinking of survival and my children I decided to have a mastectomy to remove the breast totally little did I know I would have to remove them both. The doctors convinced me to have a Breast reconstruction surgery also known as Oncoplastic surgery. A breast reconstruction is a type of surgery for women who have had all or part of a breast removed. The surgery rebuilds the breast mound so that it is about the same size and shape as it was before. The nipple and the darker area around the nipple (areola) can also be added or replaced so that the breast can look as normal as possible, but it doesn’t.
By the time I reached the age of 30 I felt as if my body had been mutilated. I lost my breast, my hair and I started to look as sick as I felt. There was no more hiding what I was going through, it was time to tell my family. Metastatic breast cancer wasn’t a joke, the cancer was spreading and it was spreading fast. I had to undergo another surgery on my breast because it had returned. Weekly chemotherapy, a treatment designed to kill cells was killing me. With my family supporting me I was able to under go chemotherapy once a week to prepare me for other treatments. It could be used to shrink a tumor so it can be surgically removed or to prepare you for radiation therapy. At first I was taking the 10 pills per day but then I was upgraded to take it intravenously. I am currently taking one drug at a time to prevent continuous spread but it’s a start. I have my good and my bad days but I still fight my ass off… Fortunately, I am able to continue working to provide for my children. I also push myself beyond what I thought was possible. Some weeks I suffer from fatigue, fever, pain (oh my GOD the pain), diarrhea, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and weight loss ( that explains the weight loss) I’m tired of people asking me what happened to my hair (I explained that)… Or saying “oh my God you don’t look sick”.. What am I supposed to look like? I remained silent for so long because I didn’t want people feeling sorry for me and I wanted to feel normal, but I learned that it helps to talk about it and spread awareness. Who would have thought that people our age experience something like this? We do and we are out here. This has taught me that we are not invincible. Also it taught me to appreciate everything ( the good and the bad.) So… Next time you see me it’s ok to hug me, I’m not a leper and I’m not contagious. I can proudly say now that as of September 22nd 2015 I have been in remission. I take my medications continuously and I still push forward in my fight to remain free from this cancer.