Stephanie Diagnosed at 36

"On my daughter's 1st birthday, I had a biopsy on a lump that I had found in my breast. That lump had spread to my armpit, and I just knew that biopsy was coming back positive for cancer. "

On my daughter's 1st birthday, August 13, 2019, I had a biopsy on a lump that I had found in my breast. That lump had spread to my armpit, and I just knew that biopsy was coming back positive for cancer. Two days later, I was told the news I knew was coming. I was diagnosed with stage IIB Triple Negative Breast Cancer. I was numb and in shock.

I met with my oncologist and surgeon right away and it was decided I would get a double mastectomy. I did four rounds of "Red Devil" chemo and then twelve rounds of Taxol. I was "lucky" in that I didn't have really bad side effects with the chemotherapy, but my life was forever changed. I would never again be the woman I was before I got that phone call. 

After my surgery, I attempted to get reconstruction but had difficulties with the tissues expanders due to radiation. I had both expanders removed and I am now flat. I am glad I ultimately made the decision to go flat. No more surgeries!! 

I am only two years out and I still get anxiety about recurrence. I have good days and bad days. The bad days usually consist of spending many hours in bed or on the couch binge watching reality television and wishing mine could back to the way it was before cancer. On the good days, I am grateful for the experience because I know how to cherish life and those little moments most people take for granted.

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

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