Stage 4, Maryland
“Hi, my name is Gina Lawson, I’m 38, and I have stage IV Her2+ metastatic breast cancer. I discovered the tumor at age 33 on my right breast during my second trimester of pregnancy with my son, Liam, in late 2016; and I was officially diagnosed in early 2017, at age 34. My original diagnosis was Her2+ stage 3a breast cancer. ”
I have no family history and I received the BRCA/full panel gene test with negative results. Since my diagnosis, I had a sentinel node biopsy and lumpectomy on my right side and 2 rounds of chemo (a/c), gave birth to Liam, went back on chemo (a/c, then taxol, then herceptin); had a bilateral mastectomy with reconstructive surgery while on herceptin (with perjeta added). I was removed from treatment in 2018 and deemed finished, though three months later, the cancer had moved into dermal lymphatics recreating a large cluster of lesions on my chest. I was put back on chemo, this time Kadcyla. I had deconstructive surgery and 6 weeks of proton therapy 2 x a day every day Monday through Friday. I’m still on Kadcyla and must go for infusions every three weeks forever as long as it continues to work. Zometa was recently added to my regimen.
My type of treatment is indefinite but I don’t mind as long as it keeps me living and I have a good quality of life. I may have to go every 3 weeks forever but so far I still do all the things I want and I can’t complain. So every 3 weeks for life-I will take it! 😃
Liam is now a 3 year old beautiful, healthy boy. I hope that by sharing my story I can help others and bring awareness to her2+ breast cancer, particularly breast cancer in young adults under the age of 40. Early detection is key. I also want to share that having a positive outlook moving forward is very important, and for me, positivity is having fun and enjoying life even if it’s the little things.
If anyone has any questions for me or wants to reach out to me, I am happy to connect!