Meet Jen

In August 2011, at the age of 32, Jen was diagnosed with stage four, metastatic breast cancer (ER+, PR+, Her2neu+). She had been married less than 3 years, was a new mom, and her infant son was just five months old. One of the first places she turned for support was YSC’s online network. Here were women who understood the challenges of managing cancer treatment, a career, and sleep-training a baby. For 4.5 years, Jen was treated aggressively for her cancer, which seemed to respond exceptionally well to targeted therapies and chemo alike. Between October 2013 and March 2016, she had No Evidence of Disease, the holy grail for metastatic patients. Then, in the spring of 2016, a skin biopsy indicated an autoimmune disease called sarcoidosis and a PET/CT scan revealed multiple spots of concern. As a follow-up, Jen had a lung biopsy. The results came back showing not cancer, but rather: more sarcoidosis. At the end of 2016, Jen was officially restaged to Stage II breast cancer plus an autoimmune disease that can mimic metastases on scans and is treated with steroids. Today, she shows no signs of either disease, but will always carry the experience of living with “mets” for the first 5 years of her son’s life. A lawyer and former lobbyist, Jen writes about navigating the intersection of motherhood and cancer-land at www.boobyandthebeast.com. She has also written for The Huffington Post, ScaryMommy.com, Women’s Health Online, Women You Should Know, Cancer Knowledge Network, Rage Against the Minivan, and others. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her family.

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