I’m 35, and I’m a new mom. My baby boy, Noah, is 8 months old, and he’s my entire world. I’ll never forget how I felt when I found the “lump” in my right breast. I kept telling myself it had to be something to do with breastfeeding. I mean, new moms don’t get breast cancer, right? My annual appointment with my OB was just a few days after I found the lump, and when I brought it up with him, he assured me that it was nothing. “It’s soft. I don’t think it’s anything. Just keep an eye on it.” I was relieved… for about 5 minutes. But something in my gut told me that it wasn’t “nothing.” So I made an appointment with my family physician, and he sent me to get a mammogram and an ultrasound.
I remember very clearly how scared and anxious I felt sitting there in the “diagnostic” side of the breast center. My anxiousness just kept rising as they wanted to repeat some of the scans, and I knew when they led me back to the radiologist’s office (instead of giving me one of those nice “congratulations, it’s nothing” folders) that my life was going to become magnitudes more complicated. I was told it was “suspicious” and that I should come back immediately for a biopsy. And that phone call… that was when the bottom dropped out of my world. “It is breast cancer.”
After being told that I have Stage 1 (1.9 cm no affected lymph nodes) triple negative breast cancer, I did what any person would do, and I researched the crap out of it. That made me feel worse. So I vowed to myself that I would stay off the internet, and I remind myself every day that I am not a statistic. I am me. My outcome will be my outcome. My story is mine, and I am not a number.
So, here I am. A new mom, a business owner, and an avid volunteer. I don’t have time to think about the “what if’s.” There is no alternative. I’m in it to win it. I had my first round of chemotherapy a couple of weeks ago. When I started losing my hair, I picked up the razor and shaved. And every day, I hold my baby boy as tightly as he’ll let me and remind myself that he is my rock and my joy, and I barely think about that nasty b*&@ch called breast cancer. I’ll be escorting her to the curb soon.
Your stories have inspired me. The strength and courage in this community is beautiful, and I wanted to share my story with you and remind others out there that you need to be your own advocate for your health. Trust your gut, and remember doctors are human, too. They make mistakes. Fight for yourself. #fightlikeagirl
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.