I was a 40-year old married mom of 14-year old twin boys in February of 2016 when I felt a large mass in my left breast. My heart immediately sank as I just knew from that moment that I was about to start a journey that no one should have to travel. I moved on to my first mammogram, additional views, ultrasound, and finally the biopsy that would confirm my gut feeling – I had breast cancer, triple negative breast cancer to be exact. As my surgeon explained that triple negative tended to be more aggressive and lacked a targeted treatment I was thinking well then I really need to fight harder – failure was not an option and I will not be a statistic. That fight did begin immediately, in a whirlwind week I had my port placed, a CT scan, a bone scan, met my Oncologist and began my first round of chemo. My chemo consisted on 4 pounds of A/C every other week for 8 weeks, followed by 12 weeks of weekly Taxol & Carboplatin. During this time, I was unable to maintain my counts and had to have Neulasta and daily Neupogen and had several treatments delayed to try to recover my counts.
I continued to push through and continued to work, trying to keep things as normal as possible for my boys. After completing chemotherapy, I elected to have a double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction. The week after surgery until I received my pathology report was probably the longest of my entire treatment. The results…minimal residual, so minimal that my oncologist calls it a complete response and the 3 lymph nodes that were removed….all negative! I’m 10-months out from my diagnosis – my hair is growing back and I no longer dwell daily on having cancer. I’m slowly searching for my new normal. I’m thankful for this experience. I’ve come out from this a stronger person. I now know what matters in life – things aren’t as important as experiences with those you love. I’m very aware of how precious every second truly is.
To all of those newly diagnosed and fighting through treatment – Don’t EVER give up and always, no matter what, keep a positive attitude. I’m a strong believer in the power of attitude and have seen it make a difference. I looked to Joshua 1:9 during my course of treatment – “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” Have Faith – You’re stronger than you know and miracles happen everyday!