In 2019 I was delivered the blow that I had triple negative breast cancer, grade 3, stage 2b. I was 35 years old. At the time I was breastfeeding my 6 month old baby girl, and as a result the lump had been dismissed as a blocked milk duct for months. I was terrified.
I had chemotherapy first, AC followed by Taxol, for a total of 6 months. I then had a lumpectomy and total lymph node clearance. When that was healed I went on to have 6 weeks of radiotherapy, and then 6 cycles of oral chemotherapy (Xeloda.) In total it was almost exactly 1 year of treatment.
The year I was actively fighting breast cancer was arduous and long, but I was lucky to fare up well under the circumstances. I lost all of my hair of course, and felt very unwell at times. But there were a lot of good and happy times during that time too. I was determined not to let cancer destroy my first year with my precious daughter, or to stop me from doing the things I wanted to do with her. We went on holidays abroad, planned things to look forwards to and stayed active. That’s what kept me going.
Mentally it was tough to say the least. After the shock and terror of the first few weeks after diagnosis, I learned to disassociate from my situation in order to cope. I painted a smile on my face and slotted quietly into my role of being “strong” as that’s what people kept telling me I was. There were a lot of hard earned lessons. “Friends” that disappeared or pulled away, new friends that came into my life and are still here now. And the ever present nauseating fear of leaving my baby without her mother.
I wrote a book about my experiences, started this website to reach out to others, and completely changed my career path.
After treatment life went on. Different from before, I carried scars both visible and invisible, but I was happy. 2 years after treatment I had a gorgeous miracle baby boy. My now husband and I got married and we moved our family across the country for a fresh start. Somewhere that there are no triggering memories and where I was not “the girl that had breast cancer.” We got a dog, enjoyed nature and guarded our peace.
Unfortunately in October 2023, 4 and a half years from my original diagnosis, a routine mammogram found a suspicious nodule in my scar tissue. I had a biopsy and a week later was officially diagnosed with a local recurrence of triple negative breast cancer. As I write this I am waiting to begin treatment.
My aim now is to continue to reach out to others that are battling breast cancer, which ever stage you are at or the walk of life you are in. To provide up to date information and share my experiences first hand. To open discussions about issues that affect us a breast cancer survivors and offer validation, hope and reassurance.
Lets do this together, I look forwards to having you!