"You do realize I'm only 29 f$#*king years old right?"
For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we spoke with Rebecca, who was diagnosed with Breast Cancer at 29 years of age.
Tell us your story with Breast Cancer
"I was sitting at my desk; not like an average person would - my body was contorted in a way that would freak out the office Ergonomics guy. Anyway, due to the way I was sitting, I felt a pinch in my left armpit. Upon me digging in that said armpit, I felt a lump. I knew it was a lymph node immediately because sometimes I tend to deep dive on the internet and research numerous illnesses, which borderlines hypochondria, I know. haha So in my anxiety heighten state, I was able to calm myself and wait a few days to just keep an eye on that little devil of a lump in my left pit.
Days went by and during one of my daily armpit lump checks I noticed a second one, which resulted in me immediately booking an appointment at a nearby clinic. The clinic visit only results in referrals, first was an ultrasound which indeed confirmed at least 3 swollen lymph nodes but nothing in the breast. So I had to wait for my biopsy appointment which wasn't until the new year, then good ole 2020 rolled around.
January 15th I was biopsied and I will NEVER forget that day when I went into complete shock as the nurse squeezed my hand tighter and the doctor that was completing the biopsy confirmed carcinoma immediately, just by looking into his little microscope.
As I made very inappropriate jokes due to the shock I was in, I recall the doctor saying "Well, worse case scenario, I've seen people survive up to 4-5 years!" ..... All I said was "... sir you do realize I'm only 29 f$#*king years old right?"
After that it was all a blur; between hundreds of phone calls, MRIs, CT scans, PET Scans etc. etc. then finally meeting with my Oncologist who confirmed I would indeed not be dying but that my cancer was fairly easy to treat. Officially I was diagnosed with high grade focal ducal carcinoma insitu - HER2 + stage 3C. They started me on chemotherapy, March 14 2020 quite literally 2 days before our country went into lockdown due to COVID19.
Breast Cancer is one thing but doing it all during worldwide pandemic is a whole different story! Every treatment, test and appointment during those 10 months was done alone and because I was now severely immunocompromised - even when things started slowly opening up again, I had to remain locked away like a hairless Rapunzel.
Six chemotherapy treatments, 31 Radiation treatments and surgery later has left me with only 3 small scars that can be easily covered; but its the scars people don't immediately see is what has its lasting impacts and all of those doctors don't really prepare you for that. When you are diagnosed with a life threatening illness you go into survival mode, because that is all that matters.
I am almost two years out and I am still trying to figure out how to live outside survival mode, not in constant fear self doubt and worry - but that's trauma for ya! I take each day at a time, and to be honest, it gets easier, because at the end of the day things will never be like they were before cancer, and that's ok!
This journey hasn't been the easiest, but I am grateful for its lessons and for the overall clarity on life it has given me, because that's what life is, it's a gift that we should all be so grateful for."
What advice do you have for other people going through Breast Cancer?
Its going to suck, its going to be hard and you will cry, lots - allow yourself to feel all the feels just know that you are a badass and you are not alone!
Have you or someone you know been affected by breast cancer? Share your experience here and help us spread education and awareness.
Learn more about how Huha are raising awareness on breast cancer this month.
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