triple negative

#YWBC: Maja

Name: Maja
Age: 42
Occupation: Administration in Public Health
Age when diagnosed with breast cancer: 39
Breast cancer type: Triple Negative Metaplastic – BRCA2
Breast cancer stage: 3C
Treatment: Single mastectomy with lymph nodes removal, chemotherapy, radiation, Zometa infusions, OlympiA clinical trial, preventative oophorectomy and another single mastectomy with DIEP Flap reconstruction

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that has nothing to do with cancer:

triple negative

I’m a dancehall dancer and I have five cats.

What’s your go-to pick-me-up song?

Any reggae/dancehall song but my recent fav is Blessed by Buju Banton.

How did you discover your breast cancer?

I felt the lump in the shower while getting ready for work.

What went through your head when you received your diagnosis?

“Am I going to die? Who will take care of my son who suffers from Autism?”

What’s the craziest thing someone said to you after being diagnosed with breast cancer?

I can’t choose just one.

“You are lucky your breast cancer is triple negative and you don’t have to take Tamoxifen for several years.”
“My aunt had breast cancer and she died.”
“Don’t worry, you have the good kind of cancer.”
“Please do not do chemotherapy, it will kill you. Have you thought about alternate treatments?”
“Don’t tell anyone. No one needs to know you are battling cancer.”
“Have you ever thought why you got cancer? Did you do something bad or do you think you didn’t pray enough.”

I can go on and on and on…..

triple negative

Who is your biggest source of support throughout your experience with cancer?

My husband and my siblings were my rocks! My best friends continue to be there for me.

I also leaned on breast cancer communities that helped me in so many ways that my family and friends couldn’t: Canadian Cancer Society, Rethink Breast Cancer, Pink Pearl, YACC, First Descents, Wellspring, Gilda’s Club.

What is the most difficult part of being a young woman with breast cancer?

Your disease and sickness gets brushed off because you are young. The feeling of being robbed of your life when you still have so much to live for. It is physically, emotionally, and mentally draining, when I should be focusing on my career, marriage, and being a parent.

What’s something unexpected you learned about yourself?

I am a lot stronger and resilient than I thought I was.

What words of wisdom would you pass on to another young woman who has just been diagnosed with breast cancer?

Take care of your mind, not just your body. Live in the moment and make every day count. It’s okay not to be okay.

To read more #YWBC Profiles, click here.

Are you a young woman with breast cancer looking to connect with others? Join the Rethink community here.

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