Unfortunately, February 28, 2017 is a date that will be forever etched in my memory. This is the day, it was confirmed I did indeed have breast cancer. I had a feeling this was “it” when my doctor told me he needed to biopsy the lump he found on my left breast, on Feb. 10th, but was hopeful maybe my gut was wrong on this one.
From the biopsy results, we found out that I had a rare and aggressive type of breast cancer. I needed to act and act fast, however due to my family history, I needed to have the genetic testing completed to make an educated decision. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 27 and fought for 18 months before losing her fight at the tender age of 29 years of age. I was 8 and my brother was 3 at the time. I found out on March 21st, 2017 that I am in fact a BRCA 1 carrier. I have always been aware Cancer may come up in my future, and was as mentally prepared for it as an individual could be. I thought about what I would do, how I would behave, and bought disability insurance…unfortunately the wrong kind but that is a different story…lol. However, discovering I had the gene was very devastating for me. The fact that I could have potentially passed this on to my kids is heartbreaking.
Due to this information, I decided to move forward with a Double Mastectomy on April 13th, 2017. The love and support I received from this community, my friends, work family, and family was amazing. People came to help unpack the house; so things were settled before my surgery, they helped with my kids, made us dinners, came and washed my hair, sent me cards, and supported us emotionally through this tough time.
I began chemotherapy 6 weeks after surgery, and the outpouring of love continued and was overwhelming. I completed 6 rounds of intense Chemo. Receiving the treatments every 3 weeks. When I reflect back on this time, this is where I really had to summon that “One Tough Bitch” inside me. I didn’t want to finish, I wanted to quit, but that inner voice told me “No, keep going, you got this girl. You are stronger than you think, 1 more time, let’s go!”
Once the Chemo was complete, I then received another drug named Herceptin due to the fact that I was HER2+, every 3 weeks till May 16th 2018. The side effects were not as extreme as the 6 rounds of chemo, my hair grew back, my white cell count went up a bit and kept building, I was able to function and go to work.
I took one more precaution and had a full hysterectomy on June 5th, 2018 because I had a tumor marker come up after my 2nd Chemo infusion and my Oncologist highly suggested I moved forward. However they found no evidence of cancer, so I am considered Cancer Free!
My journey came to a close on July 2nd, 2018 when I had my port removed and I have been healing and feeling better each day! Though a few of the side effects are still lingering, I feel stronger each day.