My name is Lauren, I’m 33 and have recently been diagnosed with stage 2, grade 3, hormone positive breast cancer.
My life was going along quite nicely. I had moved to a new town, built a house with my partner, made a nice group of friends and was busy working, socialising and planning holidays.
Then suddenly it was put on hold.
I had never really bothered checking my breasts before. Breast cancer was not in my family and I always thought that I wouldn’t have to check them until I was at least 40.
One day when I was laying in bed, I noticed a small lump in my left breast that was kind of hard and a bit tender. I told myself it was nothing and I was just overreacting. A few weeks went by and I noticed it more and more. I kept thinking to myself ‘what if it was something?’ I had a doctors appointment for something else and thought I would mention it when I was there- just to put my mind at ease. I am so glad I did.
I told the doctor it was probably nothing and showed her the lump. She sent me for a scan and biopsy just in case. A few days later I got a call from the doctors to come in, I knew instantly it was bad.
“I’m so sorry, its cancer” is all I remember her saying.
I couldn’t believe it. How can I have cancer? I am too young fit and healthy for this. Whats going to happen to me? Am I going to die? How do I tell my family? What do I do??
I was numb.
Fast forward 3 months and I have had a lumpectomy, completed a round of IVF as a precaution for treatment side effects, had genetic testing, recently shaved my head and have just started 16 cycles of chemotherapy, which will follow with radiation and hormone therapy.
It is a very surreal experience, I still don’t feel like I have cancer even though I have the scars and side effects to show.
I know I have a long road ahead and I could not go through this without the support of my partner, family, friends and the online community I have met through Pink Hope.
If there is one thing I have learned so far through my experience it is to listen to your body, check yourself and if something doesn’t feel right go to the doctors because breast cancer is not just an older persons disease it can affect young women too.