Jasmine Diagnosed at 26

"My hope is to shed light on the issues faced by young women, young marriages, and black women who are affected by breast cancer."

Friday, December 30, 2016 is the day my life changed forever. At the age of 26, I was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer. But after we received my pathology report, we realized things were a little more complicated. My cancer was classified as multi-centric. A multi-centric breast cancer involves two or more distinct primary tumors, usually in different quadrants of the breast. Nine centimeters of my breast tissue were affected, resembling stage 3 cancer and consisting of both invasive and non-invasive tumors. I remember thinking the results of my biopsy would determine the trajectory of the upcoming new year, but that could not have been further from the truth. Ultimately, I made the decision to decline chemo. I underwent a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction January 24, 2017 and completed 25 rounds of radiation May 17, 2017. I'll be on hormone therapy for the next 10 years and I'm hoping to be able to start a family after five years.

With the support of my amazing family, friends, and cancer care team, I not only kept my head above water while I went through treatment, I emerged from the storm with a greater appreciation for life, and the blessings and talents God has bestowed upon me. As a member of the under 40 club no one wants to be part of, I decided to start a blog to document my journey, connect with other women, and share how I'm learning to make the rest of my life the best of my life - against all odds. My hope is to shed light on the issues faced by young women, young marriages, and black women who are affected by breast cancer; to show how breast cancer changes everything, not only for the ones diagnosed, but the ones they love; and to show the world the power of God and the mountains true love can move.

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

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