Name: Heather Choate
Occupation: Mother first, marriage coach and author second
Age when diagnosed with breast cancer: 29
Breast cancer type: Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma
Breast cancer stage: 3-4 (couldn’t test due to the fact that I was pregnant, but cancer had spread to my lymph nodes)
Treatment: 4 rounds AC and left mastectomy while pregnant, then 12 rounds Taxol, Herceptin and Perjeta, 12 weeks radiation
Tell us a fun fact about yourself that has nothing to do with cancer:
I love having Nerf wars in my living room with my kids
What’s your go-to pick-me-up song?
Something Just Like This
How did you discover your breast cancer?
Noticed a lump but thought it was from post-breastfeeding. Midwife checked it out and then it was biopsied.
What went through your head when you received your diagnosis?
My thoughts immediatly turned to my 10 week old baby in utero and what this would mean for them.
What’s the craziest thing someone said to you after being diagnosed with breast cancer?
Why are you doing chemo don’t you care about your baby? (3 Doctors initially told me to abort the baby to save my life)
Who or what is/was your biggest source of support throughout your experience with cancer?
My husband Ben, my children, in-laws and friends and family.
What is/was the most difficult part of being a young woman with breast cancer?
The difficulties were blessings because they made me stronger. The hardest thing to overcome wasn’t chemo or surgery or radiation, it was fear and learning to master my own thoughts and mind.
What’s something unexpected you learned about yourself as a result of having breast cancer?
I realized what was most important and what was not. I learned that when I focus on the most important things, I am happier and thrive.
In one sentence, what words of wisdom would you pass on to another young woman who has just been diagnosed with breast cancer?
Listen to your own intuition, no matter what anyone says and focus on it with all you have.