about the blog
When I turned 30, I was halfway through an intense chemo regimen to fight breast cancer. I had lost all my hair, my nails were turning black, I was struggling with anxiety and depression, and I was still facing surgery, radiation, more chemo, hormone therapy, and reconstruction. And even though I was only in the beginning phases of my treatment journey, I was already paralyzed by the fear of a reoccurrence. I was far from the image of “Thirty, Flirty, and Thriving” that seemed to be plastered all over social media. I was barely surviving.
That was a year and a half ago. I am currently “cancer-free” and crossing my fingers that it stays that way. I’ve worked very hard to become mentally, emotionally, and physically strong again. This continues to be my focus in my life after cancer. That’s where this blog comes in.
As anyone who has ever had cancer knows, the journey is not oven when treatment is over. Every day I am reminded of how cancer has changed my life. The effects are multidimensional and long-lasting. My hope is to support and guide other young women who are facing a breast cancer diagnosis. Writing is a form of therapy for me, and sharing my experiences to help others find their way through similar challenges gives my story purpose.
meet the writer
daughter | twin | wife | mother | friend
writer | thinker | creator | survivor
food-lover | beach-goer | nature-seeker
mindful | thoughtful | grateful
"it's breast cancer"
I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma on February 27, 2019 when I was 29 years old. I have no family history of breast cancer and do not carry any known genetic mutations. My cancer was triple positive (ER+, PR+, HER2+), stage 2, grade 3.
I had intense chemotherapy from March – July 2019 and a double mastectomy in August 2019. Surgery found I had no lymph node involvement, clear margins, and a good response to chemo which shrank my 5.9 cm tumor to 2 mm of residual cancer. Although my oncologist claimed this was “essentially” a complete response to treatment, I still qualified for additional chemo due to my HER2+ status. This second regimen lasted from September 2019 – June 2020 and was combined with the standard immunotherapy treatment for HER2 called Herceptin. In October 2019, I also completed 5 weeks of radiation for extra measure.
During treatment and currently, I receive monthly Lupron injections to suppress my ovarian function and I take a daily aromatase inhibitor to reduce the hormones in my body since my cancer was estrogen and progesterone driven. I will likely stay on hormone treatments for at least 10 years, if not life. Last but not least, in November 2020, I finally had the second step of my reconstruction surgery to exchange my breast expanders for implants and fat grafting. Whew!