At 27, with no risk factors or family history, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, stage IIB triple positive invasive ductal carcinoma in situ to be exact, after accidentally finding a lump. I underwent three different rounds of chemo, radiation, and a double mastectomy with reconstruction finishing a year and a half of treatment at the end of September!As most survivors will tell you, just because treatment is over does not mean that life goes back to “normal.” The fear and anxiety of a reoccurrence is relentless. The side effects of treatment are life long. Learning to accept your new body is a full time job and the appointments never end. But, there is a new sense of gratitude, appreciation, and love that is just so enormous and fulfilling.
1:8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their life. It is so important to know your breasts and what is normal for you. Do your self breast exams and have routine mammograms. Most abnormalities are benign, however, the best outcomes are with early detection. Use the two week rule; if an abnormality is present for longer than two weeks it needs to be evaluated! It is terrifying to think what would have happened if I had decided to ignore my lump.
Cancer will now forever be apart of me, it’s hard to not let it define me, but I will forever use my story to educate, support, and encourage other men and women who may be faced with this disease! There is life after cancer...I may still be trying to find it, but it has showed itself a few times already!
Please join me to walk, run, or just donate to ending breast cancer forever!
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