I am a 44 year solo parent of a 14 year old son. I am also a regulated pharmacy technician who works in long term care. I live in beautiful Kelowna, BC, so I enjoy being active in the outdoors – kayaking, hiking, paddle boarding and camping. Also really enjoy reading and roller skating!
My Breast Cancer Story
I have always been vigilant with colon cancer screening, because my father had it at age 40. In BC, mammogram screening begins at age 40, every 2 years. I went for a mammogram summer of 2019, and another in 2021. Thus, finding a lump on my left side of my breast when in the shower in the fall of 2022, had me in denial that it was anything serious. It took some convincing for my family doctor to send me for a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound. Finally got one Dec 9th, where I was fairly certain it was nothing. I fell apart outside their office after the radiologist told me he was 95% certain we were dealing with a fast growing tumor. January 26, 2023 I had a biopsy that made my biggest fears a reality.
So I have been on this cancer journey ever since, starting with surgery on March 9th. I had 15 lymph nodes removed as well, 4 of which were cancerous. I am stage 2, triple positive with both IDC and DCIS.
I had 3 rounds of two different kinds of Chemotherapy followed by 20 rounds of radiation therapy–all were physically taxing. I have completed 7 of 17 herceptin treatments. I believe I will also be on tamoxifen in the near future. Its been a long ride and the emotional challenges have begun now.
I Want You to Know
Breast Cancer doesn’t discriminate. It can affect any age group, any man or woman, no matter how healthy a lifestyle you try to maintain. Don’t just do mammograms! I didn’t realize the importance of self checkups, until I accidentally stumbled upon my own lump with a bar of soap in the shower. Be vigilant. Be your own advocate with the health care system to be seen, and to be seen in a timely fashion if you feel like your case has fallen between the cracks. Research your family history, particularly if your ancestors live in a different country like mine do. I found out 3 relatives were also afflicted by breast cancer after my own diagnosis. And if you have dense breasts, like I do, push for ultrasounds too! They can save your life!
Diagnosed at 44