#YWMBC: Chiara

Name: Chiara
Age: 27
Occupation: Marketing Operations Manager
Age when diagnosed with breast cancer: 27
Breast cancer type: ER+/PR+/HER2- Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
Breast cancer stage: stage IV with metastasis throughout my skeleton
Treatment: Currently on first line treatment consisting of Zoladex, Xgeva, Anastrazole and Ribociclib

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

I’ve gone to school in four different countries and traveled to 23 countries. I can’t wait for COVID to be over so I can go back to traveling again!


What’s your go-to pick-me-up song?

Lately I haven’t been able to turn off Folklore-era Taylor Swift, but if I need something more upbeat to pick myself up I’d probably put on a Chvrches album.

How did you discover your breast cancer?

I was watching TV in my bed and just accidentally touched the lump. It was pretty small when I first found it, but when I had it checked out, I was told it was nothing and had to be just a cyst. I went back a year later because it was growing and hurting a lot, thinking I’d just have the cyst drained and I’d be all good, and instead ended up with a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis.

What went through your head when you received your diagnosis?

It took a really long time for it to actually set in, but once it did, all I thought was, “Nothing will ever be the same, will it?” How do you make a five-year plan, or even a one-year plan, when you have scans every three months that could change the entire trajectory of your life. Not to mention the fact that only 27% of people with the same diagnosis live past five years. I just couldn’t stop thinking about how much was about to change for me.

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

People constantly push diet changes on me that can “cure cancer.” I know they mean well, but there is nothing that is going to cure my cancer so please just let me enjoy my cookies in peace.

Who are your biggest sources of support?

I have an amazing group of friends who have really been there for me even though I was diagnosed during COVID so we couldn’t spend much time in person together. They will still come sit outside on my deck, spread out six feet apart, and just chat in masks whenever I need them. I was also matched with an MBC mentor who has been an incredible source of support for me over the past few months because she totally gets all of the feelings I’ve been having!

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

I think the hardest part for me has been watching everyone around me have these huge life moments and knowing that it’s something I’ll probably never experience. I’ve always tried not to compare myself to my friends because we all have our own journeys and timelines, but after my cancer diagnosis it became so much harder to watch everyone around me get married, buy houses, and have babies while I’m just treading water while trying to survive.

What’s something unexpected you learned about yourself?

This is silly and cliché, but I don’t think I ever realized how strong I am. I have never had anything truly catastrophic happen in my life, and I think I always expected to just become a puddle of anxiety and emotion if anything serious ever did happen. I’ve learned through this experience that I am strong as hell and if I can get through this, I can get through anything life throws at me.

What words of wisdom would you pass on to someone else who has just been diagnosed with MBC?

MBC is a massive roller coaster ride. Make the most of the time when you’re at your high points, and don’t be afraid to ask for help during the low times.

To read more #YWMBC Profiles, click here.

If you or someone you know is a young woman with breast cancer looking for a community that relates and connects with your struggle, the Rethink Young Women’s Network might be right for you. For more information, click here.

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