When you’re in your 20’s, the last thing on your mind is being diagnosed with cancer. I mean, only old people get cancer, right? at least that’s what I thought. I hadn’t known anyone up until recently that has had to battle with cancer. It’s a grueling experience and I understand why no one WANTS to talk about it.
There are SO many tests! If you’ve gone through this than you know. Your body starts to no longer feel like your own. For me, there have been examinations, ultrasounds, mammograms, blood tests, biopsies, genetic testing, MRI’s, CT scans, and bone scans. All to determine if I had cancer, what kind of cancer, the cancers staging, and if it’s spread.
It took exactly 22 days for my life to turn from normal to cancer patient. The irony of my first appointment being schedule on the first day of breast cancer awareness month is beyond me. I even used to participate in breast cancer walks and worked with scheduling free cleans to breast cancer patients at my past job. It’s crazy to think I am where I am today but I guess the universe does truly put you where you need to go.
On October 22nd 2018, I was diagnosed with a non-genetic (no BRCA) stage 2B, Estrogen +, HER2 -, Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. Now, I know that sounds like a lot of mumbo jumbo but I promise they all have a meaning. My cancer has spread outside the milk duct and basically started invading the surrounding tissue, as well as some of my lymph nodes. I don’t have the genetic mutation also known as the BRCA gene, which is really good. Having an estrogen positive cancer means that the the cells bind to those hormones and can promote growth. HER2, is a growth-promoting protein on the outside of all breast cells, normally, this gene helps healthy breast cells grow and repair. Breast cancer cells that have higher than normal level of HER2 are called HER2 +. These cancers usually grow and spread faster. My cancer is HER2 -. Which tends to mean it’s less aggressive, has a better chance of not spreading, or coming back.
To treat my form of cancer I am undergoing hormonal therapy, chemotherapy, possible radiation, and inevitably my dreaded surgery. It’ll be a long road for me and a lot of it will be done in private but for what I can muster the courage to share I will. We are all truly on this journey together. You never know how quickly the tables can turn.
Thank you all for reading more of my story and I encourage you to spread awareness ♡