Brittany Diagnosed at 21

"Cancer took a lot from me but at the same time it made me become a stronger and better person from it."

About a year ago, I felt a hard lump on my left breast. I didn't think anything of it at the time but then I realized that it was getting bigger and it didn't hurt. At the time I still went to my pediatrician and I got my doctor to examine it. She thought nothing of it but sent me to get an ultrasound. From the ultrasound, I was sent to get a biopsy. I just turned 21 and was going to summer school when I found out that I had invasive ductile carcinoma. I never thought that I would ever have any type of cancer yet alone breast cancer. From there, a little over a month after my diagnosis I had a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. I went to a genetic doctor to see if I had the Broca gene. It turns out that my cancer is not genetic and the only conclusion that had from me getting it was that it was environmental.

I changed my whole diet from that point on, not eating red meat, dairy products, or processed sugar. I have recently gone vegetarian as well. I thought that all this was over until I did an oncotype test to see if my cancer was low risk, medium risk, or high risk. My tumor got sent to a hospital in California and the results was based on a number. The lower the number the lower the risk. Mine came back at low risk but it was a high, low risk. All my doctors recommended that I go through with chemotherapy. That was the scariest moment of it all knowing that I would lose my hair. I had four treatments every three weeks that started in August and ended in November. Since then, I am on Tamoxifen which lowers my estrogen since my cancer was estrogen and pedestrian positive. I also have to have a Lupron shot every month.

No one told me about life after cancer and how hard it is to get back to normal. I will never be able to go back to the life I once had and I am trying to accept that. Being 21, I had to grow up very fast. I have a different perspective on life and the way I think. Cancer took a lot from me but at the same time it made me become a stronger and better person from it. I have been cancer free for about seven months now. I want to share my story so that I can help other young women like myself to know that they are not alone and can overcome this battle. I also want to share my story to inform young women about checking their body since you can’t get a mammogram until the age of 25. I hope that I can help other women to not let cancer defeat you and to try to have a positive outlook on life from it.

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

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