Name: Sarah Taylor-Haddad
Occupation: Clothing Designer
Age when diagnosed with breast cancer: 26
Breast cancer type: Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, ER-positive, HER2-negative
Breast cancer stage: Stage 3
Treatment: 6 months of Chemotherapy (Taxol, A/C), lumpectomy, 29 rounds of radiation
Tell us a fun fact about yourself that has nothing to do with cancer.
I started taking sewing lessons at the age of 6 years old every Saturday morning for 11 years. I eventually went on to become a clothing designer.
What’s your go-to pick-me-up song?
Rachel Platten’s Fight Song and Sara Bareilles’ Brave
How did you discover your breast cancer?
I felt a lump in the shower.
What went through your head when you received your diagnosis?
I was really confused and had a lot of questions. Am I going to die? What will I do about work? I’m going to lose my hair, aren’t I?
What’s the craziest thing someone said to you after being diagnosed with breast cancer?
“Are you having a mastectomy? At least you will get fake boobs for free” and “It’s just breast cancer, at least you got the good kind!”
Who or what is/was your biggest source of support throughout your experience with cancer?
My husband, family and friends were my biggest support throughout my treatment. I also found comfort with Rethink Breast Cancer’s community group for young women. Talking to other young women going through the same thing makes you feel like you are not alone.
What is/was the most difficult part of being a young woman with breast cancer?
I found it really isolating going through breast cancer in my 20’s. All my friends were doing normal things people do in their 20’s and I was at home trying to deal with side effects from treatments. I found it hard to deal with being in menopause and losing my hair.
What’s something unexpected you learned about yourself as a result of having breast cancer?
I’ve learned how strong and brave I can be when faced with something life threatening.
What words of wisdom would you pass on to another young woman who has just been diagnosed with breast cancer?
Knowledge is power. Learn everything you can about your diagnosis, treatments and resources. Try to be as informed as possible, ask a lot of questions so you can make the right decisions for what best suits you. Take it one day at a time and bring laughter into your life!
For more on what it means to be young and have breast cancer click here.