Preeti Diagnosed at 36
In October 2014, I felt something by my underarm that felt like a knot. After ignoring it for a little while, another lump on the same breast in January of 2015 made me freak out and react. I made an appointment with my primary care doctor, which lead to a sonogram appointment 2 days later. The sonogram turned into a mammogram and later a biopsy. On February 3, 2015, the results came back as breast cancer. I went a little numb and let myself cry while absorbing the news.
At 36 with no family history, I was in disbelief that this happened to me. My parents were with me, as they were at every single appointment and treatment. A small circle of friends and family knew about my diagnosis and what my journey was going to be. Lumpectomy, followed by 12 weeks of chemo (4 sessions, once every 3 weeks), followed by 7 weeks of radiation (5 days a week), followed by 10 years of hormone therapy. Their support meant the world to me and really got me through this tough time. I stayed positive and focused, but their daily calls, texts, visits, gifts, love and prayers to my parents and myself, really made a difference in my healing.
As an entrepreneur, a lot of fear set in on who would manage my event planning business with weddings going on while I was in treatment. My team stepped up and handled what they could, and I am proud to say when my mind and body allowed for it, I was able to work as well. It kept me strong. Some days were better than others; most days I was on bed rest in a lot of pain and fighting nausea or uncomfortable from radiation while others would go by pretty quickly if I didn’t think about it too much.
The hardest part for me was the hair loss, so I do recommend you trimming or cutting your hair before you start chemo, but always remember, hair is just hair...your smile should never change. Do watch your food intake and of course, what products you use. I am grateful for the support from my family, friends, clients and community. This made me even more aware of how much people need people. Especially those of South Asian descent that tend to not talk about these kind of health issues. I wanted to change that. If there is ever anything I can do for anyone reading this, please don’t hesitate to reach out.