- About Us
- Cancer Survivors
I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 26. My mother had breast cancer when she was 46 years old, which is 20 years older than me when I was diagnosed, so it was very surreal when I received the news. I had a lumpectomy, fertility preservation, and finally treatment. This was very financially and emotionally hard on me since my mother is my sole parent and the only one who provides for me. I almost did not proceed with the fertility preservation but she insisted for my future.
I always tried to tell everyone my story because I realized how little people knew about cancer and how little of a concern it was for young people when they should be more aware. My sickness was tough, I had a period where I was unable to walk for about two months but I never let it put me down. I constantly told myself it was temporary, it will eventually pass and that I was not alone. I am fortunate to have such amazing family and friends, but what helped me the most was simply talking about it. The more I spoke to people, the more I saw it as an obstacle in my life as opposed to a problem, an obstacle I can overcome, an obstacle I can also help others overcome. I felt the least lonely and the most productive when I spoke to people about it and the best was when I was able to reach out to other patients. I remember the first time I went to the Look Good Feel Good program, an older lady sat beside me and she had the same type of cancer/tumor. I told her my story. We laughed, then she cried and said I was so young and strong and that it was the first time she had laughed in a long time. It was then I realized I had the capacity to inspire others to be positive and strong.
With regards to technology, I am still thoroughly impressed its development in health care has come. Watching my mom during her sickness was tough, as she did not have the same resources I had. Because of her lack of resources, we had no knowledge of genetic tests and preventative measures for me. Later, when I got my genetic test, I was BRCA positive. My fertility doctor informed of me the benefits of having done fertility preservation. One that stood out the most was when my embryos are made, my doctor can test them for the gene and dispose the ones affected by BRCA, meaning my children will not have the gene. I found this incredibly amazing.
I too consider myself an advocate, spreading awareness not just to inform women but also men, men who can inform the women in their lives and who could be at risk themselves. I am still undergoing surgeries and recovery but I do what I am physically capable of. I keep in contact with individuals I have met through my treatment and I visit them when I am able. I believe it is important to provide continuous love and care to individuals who are going through a cancer, as well as those who have finished their treatments. Cancer exhausts a person physically and mentally so it could take years to be fully recovered from something so traumatizing. This is only the beginning of my plans to support and spread awareness. Being young, I have the time and energy to continue the mission to educate and influence the community. I am so grateful for the resources and help provided to me and I plan to express my gratitude by supporting others.