Amber R

Amber R Diagnosed at 30

"My journey is far from over, I'm taking it a day at a time. Living my life as a unicorn."

I was 29 when I went to the ER thinking the lump in my breast was an abscess, hoping it was just a pocket of puss that could be removed, cleaned and then would go back to normal.

Then under the ER doctors breathe I heard "I think it's cancer" and everything for me shifted in that moment. There was no abscess. There was a tumor, protruding out of my nipple, with an open wound on it that wouldn't heal. I knew, something was terribly wrong.

The ER told me to go to the nearest Planned Parenthood. I made an appointment and went the following Monday. The doctor that saw me showed immediate concern. She wrecked her office finding a ruler so she could measure the large tumor on my chest. She couldn't hide her concern. She told me she hoped it wasn't what she thought it was but there is a chance.

The next week, biopsies, scans, all the tests, and I get a call from a doctor I've only seen once. He tells me, it's positive and it's spread, over the phone, sitting on my bed in the arms of my partner.

We cry, for what feels like days, but immediately I am thrown into a treatment regimen. Chemo began almost 5 days after my diagnosis, no time to save eggs, no time to wait, we had to fight and fight hard.

Chemo came and went. I decided to have a unilateral mastectomy with a few lymph nodes removed, no reconstruction. I'd never had a major surgery before, and one where they would be removing a body part completely was something I don't think I could have ever really prepared for. The surgery came and went, quickly.

Radiation began, 35 rounds. My skin under my arm was raw, red and peeling. I wouldn't wish that process on my worst enemy. My results from my surgery were not good, so I had to continue chemo. I've been working through my Kadcyla treatment since last year and will hopefully finish this June.

My journey is far from over, I'm taking it a day at a time. Living my life as a unicorn.

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