Name: Adriana Capozzi
Age: 37 Occupation: Hairstylist… currently a stay at home mom of three.
Age when diagnosed with breast cancer: 35 Breast cancer type: er- pr- her2+
Breast cancer stage: Originally stage 3, now Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer to my brain.
Treatment: I had day surgery to have a port put into my chest. I had 8 rounds of Chemo every second week. During my last 4, I began Herceptin every 3 weeks for 12 months. I had a bi lateral Mastectomy, followed by 25 rounds of radiation. I have had stereotactic radiation to my brain – a Crainotomy followed by targeted brain radiation.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself that has nothing to do with cancer
I LOVE to travel! Before I was married with children I used to travel a few times a year. I always traveled alone, I loved the excitement I felt entering the airport, not knowing who I would meet or where I would stay. I took a year off and traveled around Southeast Asia and Australia alone. I bought a one way ticket and that’s it! It was an amazing year of finding myself, and stepping out of my comfort zone.
What’s your go-to pick-me-up song?
Right now I’m liking Alessia Cara. Scars to your beautiful is currently a strength song for me. I also love Lost Boys by Ruth B.
How did you discover your breast Cancer?
I found a lump one day while getting dressed. I remember my heart sinking and i instantly knew it wasn’t right. I went immediately to the drs and was sent for an ultrasound. They told me it wasn’t breast cancer. Three months later I had another follow up and found out the lump was cancer. What went through your head when you received your diagnosis? When they gave me the news, I already knew it in my heart. I remember walking out of the ultra sound and the technicians giving me the sad look. I was devastated. I remember thinking it had to be wrong. I was pregnant with twins and I was terrified what it all meant.
What’s the craziest thing someone said to you after being diagnosed with breast cancer?
Oh gosh, there are a few! People often say to me, “But, you don’t look sick.” “At least you get a boob job.’’ “But you’re gaining weight?”
Who has been your biggest source of support throughout your experience with cancer?
Support is something I have struggled with. I have a wonderful husband and wonderful children, that have always been there for me and by my side, but I have to say I have found the most support from women in my situation all around the world (online fb groups). They understand my feelings, and can always give me some insight to what worked for them.
What is the most difficult part of being a young woman with breast cancer?
For me, being metastatic, I find it extremely hard fitting in. I don’t look sick, but I am. I have three young children (3, 4, 7) and I have an extremely hard time living in the future. Hearing everyone around me plan for the year ahead is hard. I’m learning to live in the now, and enjoy today.
What’s something unexpected you learned about yourself as a result of having breast cancer?
I am a lot stronger mentally than I ever thought. Sometimes I wonder how I’m not siting in bed crying all day. Its been a long, hard two years. My mind is powerful, and I have learnt how to embrace the sad, and then throw it away and move forward. It took me some time but I am in a great place now.
What words of wisdom would you pass on to another young woman who has just been diagnosed with breast cancer?
Live in today. Worrying about tomorrow won’t change anything. Cry when you feel sad, give yourself that, but don’t let cancer take away who you are, and all the happiness around you.