Occupation: Special Education Paraprofessional
Age when diagnosed with breast cancer: 33
Breast cancer type: ER, PR- / HER2+
Breast cancer stage: 1A
Treatment: 5 rounds of Perjeta, Docetaxel, Carboplatin and Herceptin. Then 11 rounds of just Herceptin, for a total of 16 rounds. Double mastectomy with reconstruction. No nipple sparing due to Paget’s disease.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself that has nothing to do with cancer:
I used to sing in a band with my husband who was the drummer when we were in high school.
What’s your go-to pick-me-up song?
White Flag by: Bishop Briggs
How did you discover your breast cancer?
During a self-exam.
What went through your head when you received your diagnosis?
That surely, they got it wrong, “I’m only 33, much too young!” What does this mean for the rest of my days, and how many days is that?
What’s the craziest thing someone said to you after being diagnosed with breast cancer?
Trying to compare me to their own situation, when they were worlds apart.
Who or what is/was your biggest source of support throughout your experience with cancer?
My Husband, Jordan. He was my everything, sometimes even my legs when those were too weak to work. All my strength came from him.
What is/was the most difficult part of being a young woman with breast cancer?
Trying to understand and navigate this new body, that in my early thirties, I was just starting to love and accept. Also, navigating my sexual relationship with my husband, almost like starting from scratch even though we’ve been together for 20 years and married for 13 of them.
What’s something unexpected you learned about yourself as a result of having breast cancer?
How much I am able to endure. Not just my body, but also my mind.
In one sentence, what words of wisdom would you pass on to another young woman who has just been diagnosed with breast cancer?
I know you feel all is lost, but never stop allowing yourself to enjoy…
If you or someone you know is a young woman with breast cancer looking for a community that relates and connects with what you’re going through, The Rethink Network might be right for you.