Yanique Diagnosed at 35

"I learned that every day that we are given on Earth don't sweat the small stuff. Take nothing for granted and live life to the fullest."

In January of this year, while laying in bed I suddenly felt a hard knot in my left breast. My first thought was "oh crap." Panic and fear ran through my body.

As a nurse, my mind went wild, and I knew this was not good. The next day I contacted my PCP and told him what I felt and what I found. He reassured me that it could be a cyst or a benign lump "no need to worry." But some how I knew I needed to go further. I went in for a mammogram and an ultrasound. The radiologist immediately told me that his initial findings were suspicious. Two weeks later, I went in for a biopsy of the left breast and axilla. Five days after that my world changed.

It was confirmed that I have invasive ductal carcinoma of the left breast stage 2. As a nurse, I come across illness every day, but nothing prepared me for this.

I started chemo first. Four rounds of AC then twelve rounds of taxol. Some days were tough. The changes your body goes through can be hard. The docs and nurse were great with managing side effects like nausea and diarrhea by giving premeds before starting every chemo. This made chemo tolerable, and it was not as scary as I thought. I was able to work through chemo.

My boyfriend of five years, my family and my friends and colleagues at work were so supportive throughout my treatments. I did a double mastectomy with reconstruction in October 2016. After they reviewed my path reports, the tumor shrank from 4cm to 2mm. And no lymph nodes were affected. So YAY To chemo! It worked.

So for young women out, there be proactive; early detection works. If you feel that something is not right, talk to your doctor get checked. I learned that every day that we are given on Earth don't sweat the small stuff. Take nothing for granted and live life to the fullest.

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