At 26 years old, I was finishing my last year in law school and ready to really “begin” my adult life. Unfortunately, I was diagnosed with stage 3C ER/PR+++ breast cancer that had spread from a small tumor extensively into my lymph nodes. Within a week, I was sitting in the chemotherapy chair. 6 cycles of FEC and Docetaxel later, I had a single mastectomy and immediate reconstruction with a tissue expander, followed by 33 radiation treatments. I then had a prophylactic mastectomy along with another tissue expander, and a third surgery to get breast implants. And I was 27.
I struggled greatly to get back on my feet. Last year, when I was 2 years out of treatment on the nose, I was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer once again, with no primary tumor, on the opposite side, and only in my lymph nodes – but unfortunately in 19 of them. Except this time, the cancer was HER-2+++ and hormone negative. Following a full axillary dissection, I completed 8 cycles of Taxol & Cytoxan, accompanied by a year’s worth of Herceptin every 3 weeks.
And now I wait. I live my life, but I keep a watchful eye. I’ll do the dance again if need be, until it gets the message!