H.E.R. Story

Here's my story... it all started October 2018. Sometime mid October the skin on my breast area became very itchy. Primarily, my left breast. I have eczema so having itchy skin at times is normal for me. As time went on, I noticed the area became irritated more and started to spread near the middle of my chest. I then decided to go see the dermatologist. She gave me some cream to apply to the area and also recommended a few changes with my bra type. Guess, it worked!! It was getting better, so I thought. Then in December I noticed that it started all over again. Back to applying the cream in hopes of it clearing up again. Unfortunately, this time things weren't working as well. But I kept at it. Hoping that in time, it would get better. 

January 2019, while at work I noticed that my left breast felt really warm as if I had a fever. Luckily I worked for an ob/gyn dr who was willing to take a look at it for me. She thought it was rather odd and asked if I had ever had this happen before. I told her no, however I did explain what was occurring in the last 3 months. She insisted that I go upstairs to our imaging department and get a mammogram. At this point I started getting concerned. I went and had the image done, results came back negative. Meaning what was shown wasn't anything alarming. Another day or so went by and the warm feeling got worse. Back to imaging I went but this time to get a breast ultrasound.

Finding out the results: While getting ready to close out the morning from the clinic, I overheard the Dr tell the front desk clerk to cancel the afternoon patients. I had to go see why. The dr was pregnant at the time so I thought maybe she wasn't feeling well. I went into her office and she told me to close the door and that's when I knew something was wrong. She asked if I could call a family member. I asked "why"? She said I have your results. I knew it was bad. She told me that I had a mass hidden under some dense tissue in my left breast and it was inches from a lymph node, it needed to be removed as soon as possible. Together we went and spoke with a surgeon and the procedure was scheduled. Treatment plan was given. From there the ball started rolling.

I was devastated. I was beyond scared. I was hurt. Confused. Concerned. A ball of several emotions overtook me. I started sharing the news with family and friends. I even made a support group page. Everyone was just as shocked as I was. However, very supportive. I was diagnosed with Stage 1a breast cancer at the age of 36.

Hearing that made everything so real. Treatment started shortly after the mass was removed. Then came all of the side effects and symptoms. The world winds of emotions. It was horrible. Some days I was strong and felt like I could take on the world. Then there were days, where moving any part of my body hurt so bad. Hugging my children, hurt. Having them or anyone else touch any part of my body,  hurt. Having them ask questions that i didn't have answers to or didn't know how to answer them, hurt me as their Mother.

Some days I never shed a tear. Other days crying was all I could do. I hated it. It was so much to take in all at one time. I was mad at God. Pissed to be honest.

Nevertheless, with the strength that same God; having faith in that same God and with the amazing support from family and friends, we made it through. 5 months later on June 26th I was found to be in full remission. The end of the story so I thought. I went on about life in hopes to never have to revisit this situation again.

But that's not where the story ends.

Fast forward to February of 2022, I decided to call my ob/gyn to have some blood drawn to see where my female reproductive system lied. It was about 6 months before my 40th birthday and I wanted to see if giving birth again was an option. I went in, had my blood drawn. Testing for everything across the board. 

On March 9th, 2022 I went in to discuss my blood work. My Dr isn't one to beat around the bush. She begins to tell me all the pro's and con's about giving birth again. I sat there taking it all in. She then voiced her #1 concern. She said, your blood result from your CA1 was very abnormal. And before we can continue this conversation, you should make sure these results are accurate. Please contact your oncologist. 

Several days later, it was confirmed...breast cancer was back for the 2nd time at the age of 39.

**story to be continued**