Sydney Diagnosed at 23

"Life takes us on crazy rides, but I never would have I thought I would have the biggest wake-up call of my life at 23 years old."

Life takes us on crazy rides, but I never would have I thought I would have the biggest wake-up call of my life at 23 years old. Soon, all these questions I have been asking myself since I graduated college would be answered. Now it is up to me on how to harness all of this energy and apply it somewhere where it will make a difference for other young women like myself.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Sydney and I was told I have breast cancer. Specifically, I have been diagnosed with Stage 3, Triple Negative Invasive Ductal Carcinoma at 23 years old. Rare in young adults and aggressive. As you can imagine, it was a complete shock considering the median age for breast cancer in the United States is 62 years old. I kept thinking to myself that this is not supposed to happen until I am a grown up.

Here’s the deal, ladies. I found a lump. It was a lump that started out as just swollen breast tissue. I thought very little of it to be honest. Weeks went by and I was either crazy or it was growing. I acted quickly by calling my doctor and receiving the necessary testing. Who knew that this phone call and being proactive would save my life? Let me put emphasis that since the first day I called my doctor to when I was given my diagnosis, it had been only a month. It ONLY took a month for this sucker to grow up to 2 inches inside of me!

Since my diagnosis, I have found a warrior within myself that I didn't even know existed. I have received support and kind words from people from all over. If there is anything that is keeping me positive and strong, it is the continued support that my community has offered me. From this support, it has given me the courage to be transparent about my diagnosis and be able to share my story with women like you! Transparency is more healing than I could have ever imagined.

If I can offer you a word of advice, YOUR mental health is essential to everything you do. Please stay healthy and do what makes you happy. Life is short. Live every day to its fullest potential. Your body has a mind-body-soul connection unlike anything else. Listen to 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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