#YWBC Profile: Jaspreet
Age when diagnosed with breast cancer: 31
Breast cancer type: Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) – rare and aggressive form of Breast Cancer. Does not present as a lump, rather swollen breast, rash, dimpling of skin, inverted nipple.
Breast cancer stage: Stage 3 locally advanced with lymph node involvement
Treatment: Chemotherapy, Surgery, Radiation
Tell us a fun fact about yourself that has nothing to do with cancer. I recently learned how to crochet!
What’s your go-to pick-me-up song? I can see clearly now the rain is gone… (after chemo song, day 7)
How did you discover your breast cancer? My right breast was swollen and red – looked a bit like hives. I went to my family doctor who put me on antibiotics but also sent me for a ultrasound just to be safe – I can whole heartedly say she saved my life! IBC is often misdiagnosed and usually it is too late by the time it is discovered.
What went through your head when you received your diagnosis? This cannot be true, I’m only 31. I have no family history, how is this possible. How will I tell my family? What if I die? What about having a baby?
What’s the craziest thing someone said to you after being diagnosed with breast cancer? I heard wearing tight bras causes breast cancer.
Who or what is/was your biggest source of support throughout your experience with cancer? Husband, Sisters, Brother, Family, Friends, IBC Facebook Group, Rethink Breast Cancer Facebook Group, Well Springs
What is/was the most difficult part of being a young woman with breast cancer? Life stops as you know it. I cannot plan for the future – that is really hard. Sometimes I cannot even plan for a month from now because I have no idea what is going to happen by then. The uncertainty is the worst but somehow I have learned to embrace it. I do still make plans but know that I need to be flexible if something health related happens.
What’s something unexpected you learned about yourself as a result of having breast cancer? That I am able to live in the moment regardless of how hard it is. I am way more present in moments throughout my day then ever before in my life. Being present is what keeps me sane. You will learn your true strength through this process, the strength you would never even imagine you had. You will learn to advocate for yourself like never before or bring someone with you to appointments who will.
In one sentence, what words of wisdom would you pass on to another young woman who has just been diagnosed with breast cancer? This is your journey, own it!
For more wisdom on being young with breast cancer check out Rethink Breast Cancer’s Care Guidelines here.