Rise of a Warrior
My name is Ryn and I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018 at the age of 38. I was fit, took care of myself, had a young family and had no history of breast cancer in my family.
I discovered a lump in my left breast in September 2018 while visiting family and I just had that sinking feeling.
In just a few weeks, I was seen by my doctor, biopsied, scanned, tested and diagnosed with IDC ER/PR+ HER- breast cancer. I had a double mastectomy with expanders within six weeks of diagnosis and went from my strongest to my absolute weakest in what seemed like overnight.
I was devastated.
The worst experience was in the hospital after surgery. The nurse came to my room with a walker and said I was going to be discharged after I walked down the hallway.
I was so confused.
I tried sitting up but couldn’t. The nurse had to push me up. As I slid off the bed, the walker kept me from falling to the ground.
In that moment, I realized, I could barely stand.
The walk out of the room and down a short stretch of hallway was one of the hardest things I ever had to do.
To realize I went in for a mastectomy but that my legs weren’t working properly was completely upsetting to me.
I was not at all prepared that I wouldn’t be able to walk with any ease or that I would be hunched over like an elderly woman for a few weeks.
I was confused and felt like I was trapped inside of my body wanting to jump out, but I couldn’t.
The physical pain was intense and I remember sitting with my fists tight when the “zaps” would hit at any moment.
I had to ask for help constantly and discovered being humble in humility.
I’m very strong-willed yet I wasn’t able to cut my own food. I just didn’t have any strength.
The couch became my full time rest stop for months on end. I slept on it, I ate on it, I lived on it.
As a productive person, I was suddenly in a position of having time on my hands and nothing to do. Hours dragged by as I watched mind-numbing television for hours on end.
It felt as if I was on pause while the rest of the world buzzed on without me.
I was lonely but determined as all hell not to give up to cancer.
I wasn’t going down without a fight – even if I didn’t have any strength.
As time went on, I slowly started standing up straighter.
I envisioned myself as becoming stronger than I was before diagnosis and never lost sight of it.
I continued pushing through all of the treatments, appointments and follow up surgery.
After many months of gentle exercise, I was slowly able to move my arms above my head.
I was able to laugh and find joy in the simple things life offers that we often loose sight of.
Cancer was a teacher of many things.
I believe I have evolved into a stronger, happier and more compassionate human because of all that I learned throughout my battle and recovery.
I dedicated the rest of my life to helping other survivors heal their invisible wounds from cancer so that they too, can reclaim their life.