About Me
I am a 33 year old woman pursuing an intentional, peaceful, joy-filled life. My passion is health and fitness. I am a mother to the sweetest 7 year old son, and am married. I work as a registered nurse. Throughout this breast cancer journey, I have really committed to taking the best care of myself. I love to take a long bath, curl up with a book and cook a good meal.

My Breast Cancer Story
My journey went something like this – I noticed a hard blueberry-sized lump in my left breast in May 2019, when I was 29 years old. Part of me dreaded what it could be, part of me hoped it would disappear. The next month, I saw my doctor about it.

My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 54 (not earlier in life) so I wasn’t considered high risk. I started with a mammogram and ultrasound. It looked like a simple fibroid and the doctor felt it was reassuring that the mass was mobile. Repeat imaging in 6 months. And again 6 months later. The lump felt a little bigger and more irregular in shape and it was decided I would benefit from an MRI.

We were in the heart of Covid and the MRI department was really backed up. I called weekly to see where I was in the queue, but I was told I had to wait. I was interested in an elective lumpectomy to get the darn thing out of my body, but my surgeon was so backed up with urgent surgeries he couldn’t fit me in for something elective.

I finally got my MRI and multiple biopsies and I was eventually diagnosed with Stage 1 cancer in January 2021.

Now the size of the tumour compared to my surrounding breast tissue required a total mastectomy. This was really hard to accept. I ended up switching to a more experienced surgeon who I felt really comfortable with. After the mastectomy, I anxiously waited for the pathology results which would determine if I needed chemo. I was lucky to not need it. Clear margins around the tumour determine if you need radiation. I am thankful to my surgeon who got 2 mm margins around the tumour which meant I did not require radiation.
I still struggle with the thoughts of what if… what if this was caught earlier, what if I didn’t have to wait so long for an MRI, etc.

For five years I have been prescribed Tamoxifen and Zoladex injections to eliminate estrogen from my body. Then came complete menopause and an assortment of side effects.

I went through the breast reconstruction process with tissue expanders and have recovered from my third surgery.

I Want You to Know
I would want to tell a woman that it is you who is going to notice a symptom and make that doctor’s appointment. It is you who must ensure you get the necessary follow up. It is yourself who will get you outside for a walk when it’s the last thing you feel like doing. Ultimately your own resilience will get you through hardship. We must be our own best advocates and caretakers.

I would also say, there is always something you can do to bring yourself joy and make yourself feel good. On the day after I had surgery, I couldn’t wash my hair (or have a shower for 3 weeks!!) but I could wash my face, brush my hair, put on some earrings. I could put on clean PJs, make tea, and have a moment in the sunshine.

Cancer patients don’t always look as they are depicted in the media. I was lucky to not need chemo, so I never lost my hair. Except for maybe the day after surgery, I never looked sick.
You would never know the struggles I’ve been through from a passing glance.
This has given me even more empathy when I go about my days and interact with people. It makes me think, what are other people going through that I might have no idea about?

A breast cancer journey is a marathon and women are in need of support throughout the entire journey.

Diagnosed at 30