Laura Diagnosed at 27

"For me it isn't a fight, it's surrendering to the fact that some things are 100% out of our hands. I will have faith that whatever comes of it, I did everything I could and still have a beautiful miracle my body created and nurtured."

I had woken up Christmas day in 2017 and upon stretching, I felt pain in my chest and shoulder. Subsequently, I felt around and on the side of my breast I felt a fixed, painless lump. I was also eight weeks pregnant after two miscarriages the previous year - this was horrible timing. Something told me I had to get it checked out and not to wait.

So I set up an appointment and was brushed off by my doctor saying "it's probably nothing, we'll watch it for three months and see what it does. You're pregnant it's probably a cyst or fibroadenoma." But it felt like it doubled in size in two weeks and so back I went. I had no one in my family with breast cancer on either side but I did have a nagging feeling I couldn't shake. So I played on my pregnancy and said my anxiety was unmanageable and that scored me an ultrasound because my breasts were considered very dense. Results were multiple solid tumors.

The breast surgeon I was referred to also said "let's wait a couple months no need to worry you're so young". If I had not pulled the scared and pregnant card I would have continued getting the run around until it was too late. He reluctantly agreed to take them out and biopsy the tumors because they continued to grow fast. At 16 weeks pregnant I was diagnosed with at least stage 2 triple negative cancer and my treatments were limited for the better half of seven months. I had severe allergic reactions to my first two rounds of chemo and was in WICU for a long time with each. I stopped treatment until after the baby. They induced me at 35 weeks. I had a double mastectomy two weeks after delivery and the day after she was released from NICU. I couldn't hold her for weeks because of the surgery.

My future is uncertain due to the delay/lack of treatment for my aggressive cancer. But God allowed me my dream. My baby is healthy and sweet and perfect. I try to stay away from the hype of being a "warrior" or "survivor" because I simply feel humbled by this diagnosis. For me it isn't a fight, it's surrendering to the fact that some things are 100% out of our hands. But for the things that are in my hands - like my upcoming treatments - I will have faith that whatever comes of it, I did everything I could and still have a beautiful miracle my body created and nurtured. I always kept this perspective with cancer. I'm not owed anything. I just hope and pray and enjoy life as much as I can.

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

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