What cancer were you diagnosed with? Breast Cancer
At what age were you diagnosed? 26
What has helped you to thrive? Access to information and the support group YBCN.
I was diagnosed with Grade 3 Triple Negative Breast Cancer in July of this year at age 26. When I was 19, I found a tiny lump in my left breast. I immediately thought it was cancer but it was a fibroadenoma. I had it removed and was left with nothing but a tiny scar. Fast forward 7 years and I found a larger lump in my right breast during a routine check, I was super casual about it, convinced it was another fibroadenoma. I still went to the doctors who told me it was unlikely to be anything sinister. I was referred to the breast unit where the doctor told me he was "95% certain this is not a bad lump".
Two weeks later I found out it was. I've had a single mastectomy, four follow up surgeries after complications, fertility treatment and have nearly completed six rounds of FEC-T followed by possible adjuvant radiotherapy. When they removed the tumour, it was only 22mm but grade 3, triple negative. Feisty. Glad we got that bad boy outta there.
I've felt every emotion possible since diagnosis, but the one that has surprised me most is my sheer determination to deal with this thing head on, and to do it with a smile and a laugh wherever I can. It's humour that has saved me so far. Oh, and surgery I suppose. But mainly humour.
Since diagnosis, I've been blogging about my experience and banging on at all of my friends and family to check themselves, using #checkyourchebs across social media. Even though everyone keeps saying "but you're so young", I know I am not too young - and neither is any other woman my age, or for that matter, younger.