My Cancer Journey

How did I get here? It still seems unreal.

I was around ten years old when my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. I honestly don’t really remember time when she didn’t have it. Surgeries, chemo, radiation all seemed almost normal in our house. My Mom was incredible. She rarely complained. She made it out to all of our softball games, even in the rain.

She died when I was 20, shortly after her 55th birthday.

Since then I have spent a very healthy lifestyle, with the end goal of not getting cancer myself. I am fit and strong, and have spent years in the gym with a passion for lifting heavy, I teach fitness classes. I hike, paddleboard and love the outdoors. I don’t smoke. I don’t drink much. I eat very healthy. Clearly all of my work wasn’t enough.

I turned 36 years old in August. I had gone to my doctor the week before about a small lump I found in my right breast. It felt like a small pea and didn’t seem serious. The doctor agreed, but given my family history she requested I get a mammogram and ultrasound.

August 31st I walked confidently into the hospital’s medical imaging department, joking with the mammographer about my boobs being squished this way and that. One hour later, I had silent tears running down my cheeks as the radiologist took three biopsies of the tissue that was causing “a lot of concern”.

September 11th I arrived at my doctor’s office to find out the biopsy results. Invasive carcinoma. I would be having surgery within a month.

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October 19 was the longest day of my life. I had a full mastectomy of my right breast, lymph nodes removed and a spacer inserted for breast reconstruction.

Now I wait to visit the cancer clinic and find out the pathology results of the breast cancer. I am looking forward to planning the next step.

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