Jennifer Squires



April 6, 2018 is a date that I will forever remember. It was the worst day of my entire (almost) 46 years of my life! I was diagnosed 23 days prior to my 46th birthday. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I took the call at work. My OB/GYN asked if I wanted to come in and discuss my diagnosis. I said “no, I want to know now, please.” Who wouldn’t? Just my luck: I was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer, the most aggressive and most rare. Chemo was the only treatment TNBC responds to. Cinco de Mayo was the last time I had an alcoholic drink. I hardly drank, but enjoyed an occasional cocktail. However, my survival was more important. I had my port put in on May 4 and started chemo on May 8: a wonderful combination of ACT. My first chemo treatment, I was a mess. I was so nervous, I smelled of body odor. It wasn’t pretty. Seeing the red chemicals go into my body made me sick to my stomach, but I knew it was going to save my life. Four cycles of AC were not pleasant, but I was only nauseous a few times and I never threw up. Medical marijuana saved my life. It helps me sleep and prevents nausea. It also has anti-cancer properties. I HIGHLY recommend it. The twelve weeks of Taxol was easier than the AC. I was tired, but never felt sick. I had night sweats and went into menopause. I welcomed my hot flashes because I am always cold. I had a double mastectomy on October 22, 2018. The surgery went very smoothly. I experienced little to no pain; the drains were the worst part and those only stayed in for a week. My cousin Kelli flew to Connecticut to be with me for a week. She was my life saver and is my best friend. I cried a lot! It was a very emotional time, but I got through it. I chose not to have reconstruction due to the horror stories I have heard and read about. I did not want anymore surgery, nor did I want anything foreign in my body. I sincerely believe that a positive attitude is EVERYTHING! I am typically a happy, positive person, so this was easy for me. I am so grateful to be alive and to have been given a new lease on life! Dr. Andrew Weil said that illness is a gift. I truly believe that. I have made some changes for the better. I have an entirely new perspective on life since my diagnosis. Life is precious. Our body is our temple. Take care of it! I have learned to put myself first FINALLY! I am a caretaker by nature (Taurus), but I have learned it is CRUCIAL to my health to put Jennifer first. I want to share my experience with other patients and survivors. I thank God each and every day for my second chance at life. Please know that this is NOT a death sentence and you WILL get through it. A positive support system is also crucial during this time. My two sisters went to every chemo and doctors’ appointments. I couldn’t have gone through this journey without them. Let others help you. It was difficult for me to receive help at first, but it was a godsend. Let others help you! Thank you for allowing me to share my story. Sincerely, Jennifer Squires