Deanna Diagnosed at 38

"Everyday I pray for people who struggle with this diagnosis. I exercise for those who can't and for myself when I couldn't get out of bed to care for my four month old daughter."

The year was 2014. I was finally eight months pregnant with my first baby after three miscarriages over the last year and a half. I found a lump in my right breast. When I mentioned this to my OB doc she said, "it feels like normal breast tissue." At my next appointment she was gone so I saw another doc, who said, "I wouldn’t say that feels normal." Jump ahead, my primary doctor and radiologist stated, "wait until after you have the baby and come back, looks like normal breast tissue."

This did not sit well with me. I went home but called a weekish later and said it was getting bigger. I’m not sure if it was that I just wanted to know for sure it was nothing. I guess I thought it was nothing but then again something kept pulling me back. I went back in for another ultrasound with a different radiologist who also told me it looked like normal breast tissue and to come back after baby is born. I must have given him "a look". Because he realized that wasn't a good enough answer for me. So he biopsied it. I was nine months pregnant.

I got the call three days later that shocked and completely devastated me. And so began the fight for my life! I gave birth five days later. It was bitter sweet. All I could think about was how I wanted to be here on the earth to raise my daughter.

At this point I had no idea what kind of breast cancer I had, if it had spread, and what my treatment plan would be. The fact that I had been a hospice RN for the majority of my career did not help my anxiety level at all! I had a lumpectomy when my daughter was six weeks old and they couldn’t get it all. I had a double mastectomy, port placement and the start of reconstruction when she was eight weeks old. That was fallowed by six months of chemo and a year of herceptin. To this day - six years later - the fighting doesn’t stop. It is constant work mentally and spiritually.

By the Grace of God I stand here today! I am the single mother of TWO beautiful girls... age six and two. I never thought a second child would be in the cards for me. Everyday I pray for people who struggle with this diagnosis. I exercise for those who can’t.. and for myself for when I couldn’t get out of bed to take care of my four month old daughter. I praised the Lord in my storm and continue to praise him in the bliss. I feel for being alive. I don’t take one day for granted and have tried to pay it forward to my sister who was just diagnosed in April at the age of 48.

Are you a survivor, spouse, friend, or caretaker with a story to tell? We'd love to hear from you.

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