Bryce Diagnosed at 23
My name is Bryce Southers, I am now 24 and was diagnosed at 23 years old. I serve in the United States Army as an Aviation Operations Specialist. My story starts when I was about 7 1/2 months pregnant and I found a lump in my breast, and I had an appointment with my Ob/Gyn the next day so I mentioned it to him then. Knowing my mother's history of breast cancer at the age of 40, he sent me to get it checked. On October 2, 2013, just two months after delivering my son, I got the life changing news that I had breast cancer.
I was devastated. I had just given birth and I had to leave Afghanistan early due to my pregnancy. After deciding on a mastectomy I found out I had stage 3C invasive ductal carcinoma, which had spread into my lymph nodes. My cancer was triple negative, which is really scary because they didn't know what caused it. I felt so alone, all of my family lives in Virginia so I had no help and I felt as if I had no one to turn to. Then my nurse navigator linked to me YSC, where I met so many wonderful women who later became my idols and my true friends. They helped me out in every way they could and still do for that matter, we are a family now. I went through 4 rounds of AC and 12 rounds of Taxol, and 36 radiation treatments.
I still face the side effects like fatigue, neuropathy (numbness) in my fingers and toes, hypothyroidism, and a strong chance of menopause. I recently returned to Active Duty and still face reconstruction. I want to share my story with young women who are diagnosed; I want to be their hope as others were for me when I was diagnosed, because I know how scary and overwhelming it is.
Are you a survivor, spouse, friend, or caretaker with a story to tell? We'd love to hear from you.