- Diagnosed in October 2010
- Stage 3 at 39 years young
- Type of Breast Cancer: Triple Positive
- No family history
How was your Breast Cancer initially detected?
I was having pain starting 7 months prior to my diagnosis. I remember it grew increasingly worse as I approached my yearly checkup. I told my doctor about the pain and she immediately said “cancer doesn’t cause pain”. I was shocked to hear the word cancer because that is the last thing I was thinking it could be!
How did you feel when you first received the news?
My doctor called with my biopsy results as I was driving back to work from lunch. She told me to pull over and then told me the news. I remember immediately being terrified and thinking my world was over. Tears just poured from my eyes as I struggled to listen to her telling me the next steps in my journey.
Tell us about your treatment process:
I had neoadjuvant treatment which means they would do chemotherapy and targeted treatments for 8 months to try to shrink my tumor and avoid taking my breasts. I was very lucky that the plan they had for me worked and the tumor shrank to almost nothing by the time lumpectomy surgery came in August of 2011. After surgery, I had 35 rounds of radiation then another year of drug infusions. I qualified for the targeted treatment drug, Herceptin, since I was one of 20% of Breast Cancer patients with a HER2+ diagnosis.
What inspirational message would you like to share with others beginning the journey?
We put this on all our Blessed Bag tags: “Don’t be afraid for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” It is very powerful and uplifting for when you are at your lowest. Keep the faith!
What advice would you give others on Breast Cancer Awareness?
Do your self exams regularly! I regret not doing this because had I paid attention to what my body was telling me, I would’ve caught my cancer sooner. Make sure to get the 3D mammograms they have now, makes a world of difference from the regular mammograms.
If you had a warrior name, what would it be?
Jessica the Cancer Crusher