Never in my wildest dreams could I have ever imagined that anything like this would happen to me. I was the typical career driven, ambitious 20 something – I had a busy job in media and an even busier social life – I simply didn’t have time for cancer.
At the time of my diagnosis I was just weeks away from relocating to London, when I received a call that my great aunt had Breast cancer. The shocking news actually prompted me to do a quick self-check in the shower and that’s when I found a rock-hard lump.
Beside myself with fear, I saw a doctor the following day who assured me that it was simply calcification and that at 27 years old, I was just too young for breast cancer.
That was three surgeries, 22 rounds of chemotherapy and 26 rounds of radiation ago. For the last two years, I have been battling hormone receptor breast cancer – so much for being too young!
Following my initial diagnosis and a period of adjustment I set about concurring cancer, I changed my diet, upped my exercise and took control of all areas of my health. I was driven, determined and dedicated to beating this demon.
I was feeling good, great even, and with the assistance of treatment thought I had finally given cancer the flick.
In May this year, on a routine visit to my oncologist – he delivered me the devastating news that not only was the cancer back, but it had spread with vengeance and was now in my bones – specifically, my chest, spine, rib, pelvis and hip. I was then diagnosed with Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer. Hearing the news was like having my heart ripped out of my chest and being struck by lightning at the same time.
My greatest fear is not knowing how much time I have left. There’s no magic number, and no one can tell what the future holds. But my greatest fear has also turned into my greatest blessing: after years of putting the needs of others first and striving to please other people, I am now taking back power and living each day for me. My aim now is to thrive, living life to the fullest and appreciating time spent with my wonderful family, closest friends and new adventures.
My message for other women is know your body. Knowledge is power – the more you know your body, the more you will know when something isn’t right. If you find any lumps or bumps, discharge or abnormalities, no matter how small, visit your doctor straight away. Do not pass GO! Do not collect 200 dollars! Don’t delay! Don’t put it off! Don’t procrastinate! You are never too young, healthy, fit or busy for breast cancer.
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