In June 2017 I had complete genetic testing which came back clear. I have no genetic markers for any type of cancer. However, my grandfather had breast cancer that went to his brain and lymph nodes. My grandmother had breast cancer as well. My Mom had Uterine cancer.
With an extensive family history, we decided that I should start on a high risk program and alternate mammograms and MRIs every six months. The 1st mammogram came back clear. On July 6, 2017, I had a hysterectomy to remove the cervical cancer.
In January of 2018, I had my first breast MRI. A mass was found and an ultrasound guided needle biopsy was performed. It came back as precancerous cells. On February 8, 2018 I had a lumpectomy to remove the cells. On February 12, 2018, my breast surgeon informed me that when they sent the lumpectomy tissue to pathology that they found 2 more masses and they were cancer.
After only nine short months, I was diagnosed with cancer again! I weighed all my options. Then on May 24, 2018 I had a double mastectomy with the start of reconstruction. I spent the following months recovering and trying to wrap my brain around why me.
On July 30, 2018 I was admitted to the hospital with cellulitis in my left breast. I spent a week in the hospital on high dose antibiotics. My plastic surgeon and infectious disease worked together on my case and determined my expanders had to come out. So on August 14, 2018 I had my exchange surgery and my implants were placed. I will have to have more surgeries with fat grafting over the course of the next year to finish making my breasts look “normal” again.
Then on August 31, 2018, I was diagnosed with Vulvar cancer. On September 26, 2018 I had a vulvectomy. I was just released to go back to work on light duty today, October 22, 2018!
Yep three cancers in a year and a half! I have spent more time off work and in recovery than I have spent actually doing my job as a vet tech. Luckily, for the breast cancer and vulvar cancer, I have been working for a small nonprofit organization that has been so compassionate and caring. They have given me written agreements each time that they would hold my job for me while I recovered.
Last year after my hysterectomy, the company I worked for fired me because my doctor wouldn’t release me to come back to work when they wanted. Anyway, Some days are better then others. Most days I can stay positive because I know there is a reason. I know there is a lesson I need to learn. I haven’t figured it out yet, but I know it’s there. I am not BROKEN! I’m recovering and learning to find the beauty in the small things.
To all my survivor sisters, you can do it. The road will be rough, but the journey will be worth it. You can do this! You will come out stronger and more beautiful than ever!❤