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Surviving Triple Negative Breast Cancer as a Young Woman




At 33, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Grade 3 Triple Negative Breast Cancer, an aggressive and rare form of the disease. My journey was filled with 20 rounds of chemotherapy, two surgeries, and the amputation of both breasts. Through this traumatic experience, I’ve learned important lessons about perseverance and advocating for yourself.

Diagnosis

My diagnosis was a complete shock. I was young, healthy, and had no family history of breast cancer. It wasn’t until I found a lump during a routine self-exam that I knew something was wrong. Remember to always check your body, even if you think you're too young or healthy to have to worry about something like breast cancer.

“I was young, healthy, and had no family history of breast cancer.”

Treatment


Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy was brutal. The side effects were overwhelming, from nausea and hair loss to fatigue and mouth sores. But I held on to the hope that the treatment was working, and pushed through each round.

Surgeries

I had two surgeries during my treatment, including a lumpectomy and a mastectomy. Both were challenging, but I knew they were necessary to fight the cancer and protect my body.

Mastectomy

The decision to get a mastectomy was not an easy one. It was a traumatic experience that still affects me today. But I pushed through the pain and trauma, and I’m proud to have survived.

Emotional Impact

The emotional impact of cancer is often overlooked. It’s hard to explain the feelings of fear, anger, and helplessness that come with a diagnosis. I struggled with anxiety and depression throughout my journey, but I learned to lean on my friends and family for support.

“The emotional impact of cancer is often overlooked.”

Lessons Learned

Advocating for Yourself

Advocating for yourself is key when dealing with cancer. You have to be your own best advocate, ask questions, and stand up for your needs. No one knows your body better than you do.


The Importance of Perseverance

Perseverance is key when fighting cancer. There were times when I thought I couldn’t go on, but I kept pushing through. I learned that even the toughest situations can be overcome with the right mindset.

Support System


Having a strong support system is crucial when fighting cancer. My family and friends were my rock throughout my journey. From driving me to chemo appointments to bringing me meals, their support helped me get through the toughest times.

“Having a strong support system is crucial when fighting cancer.”

Life After Cancer

Recovering from cancer is a long and difficult process. But now that I’m on the other side, I feel more grateful for life than ever before. I know that every day is a gift, and I don't take a single moment for granted.

I’ve also learned to appreciate the little things, from a quiet cup of coffee in the morning to a hike with a friend. Life after cancer is both challenging and beautiful, and I’m grateful for every moment.

Resources for Survivors

American Cancer Society

www.cancer.org

Living Beyond Breast Cancer

www.lbbc.org

Cancer Support Community

www.cancersupportcommunity.org

There are plenty of resources out there for cancer survivors. These organizations offer support, information, and community to help you on your journey.

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before cancer.....

Before my breast cancer diagnosis, I was incredibly shallow. I was obsessed with my appearance and always striving to live up to the model image I had created for myself. I even dreamed of posing for Playboy one day. But after a double mastectomy, I am now so self-conscious that I can hardly recognize myself. It took me almost a month to look down at my chest after the surgery. I cried and cried for hours in the bathroom, wondering how this could be happening to me. I had always been so confident in my body, and now I felt like a stranger in my own skin. As a mother, I struggled with how to teach my daughter to be confident when I was struggling so much myself. How could I tell her to love herself when I didn't even recognize myself anymore? I was grateful for my surgeon's skilled hands and for getting the cancer out, but I hated the results. When people say that a mastectomy is not a boob job, they are right. The scars and the fact that I will never have sensation again at 34

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