Hello to everyone out there fighting for another day to live!! My name is Jennifer. I am a 40-year-old single mom of three beautiful, wonderful, and challenging children. Each one of them have a different level of disability, from learning disabilities to autism, so my journey with cancer has been tough whenever I see how much they need their mother!!
I was diagnosed with stage 3 TNBC on April 29, 2015. I can remember thinking, “Is this really happening to me right now?” when I first felt the lump in my breast. I just didn’t think much about it, mostly because there was no pain. Then a second lump started forming in my armpit, and was hurting, so I finally went in to get it checked. If you feel a lump at all in your breast, do not wait to get it checked. This was the first thing I learned!
I then started my treatment at Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah. They started with chemo first, hoping if they did, then the surgery would only be to remove scar tissue. After 16 chemo rounds, I waited for about 6 weeks and had a mastectomy on my right side. After it was over, my surgeon told me that I still had an inch tumor in my breast, and 13 of the 16 lymph nodes still had cancer remaining!!
I am so very thankful that I have a very loving and supportive family, especially my mother, to help me through this difficult challenge in my life! The doctors seemed very concerned that my cancer would return, even after my scheduled radiation treatment, but I was still hoping and praying for a miracle! My last radiation treatment was February 16, 2016, and it was much easier to handle than chemo.
On April 5th, I went back to Huntsman for another PET scan. I could tell by the look on my doctor’s face that it wasn’t going to be good news. The cancer had spread to my bones, and actually it had been there from the start, only there was more, and it had become more prominent than my first scan. So I thought, ok, here we go again, more treatment. Only this time, the words “We can’t cure this” were added. “We can only hope to slow it down to give you more time!”
There is nothing in this world that can compare to that feeling: I’m going to die. I just keep playing over and over. Trying to wrap my head around it was not possible. My nurses, doctors, everyone was so supportive, making sure I was going to be ok, or if not, at least a shoulder to cry on. I am still trying to process all the emotions. I will continue treatment with anything available. There are not many treatments for triple negative BC. I just know that I have to continue to have Hope and Faith and to pray for a miracle every day!
The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.
This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.