Meet Cindy – Stage 2, Michigan

Being pregnant saved my life!

It was may of 2017 and I was at the end of my first trimester with my second daughter. I noticed a lump in my right breast , which didn’t alarm me, especially being pregnant and also just turning 36. I brought it up to my OB during our monthly fetal appointment who reassured me it was from the pregnancy and my milk ducts. He also mentioned that I was young and had no family history of breast cancer so I had nothing to worry about. Approaching my next months appt I told my husband that something didn’t seem right, I just wasn’t comfortable with the size of the lump and it seemed to have Increased over the past month. Bringing to my doctors attention once more , I had to push him to examine further- with an ultrasound since a mammogram isn’t recommended while pregnant. A week later I was at my ultrasound appt when the tech seemed very concerned and said the mass looked very suspicious. She immediately requested another pair of eyes and by then I had a huge knot in my stomach. This lump which didn’t cause any concern with my DRs is suddenly in question. I was taken to get a mammogram immediately and when that was done I remember sitting in the waiting room with my robe still on , shaking … alone. When I was called back in, I was told that the mass was cancer … they confirmed it without doing a biopsy. I was shaking so much they had to call my husband and tell him over the phone. All I kept thinking about was my family, my 2 year old and my unborn child and leaving them all motherless.

Looking back , I am so grateful I listened to my gut. When I read all these survivor stories , one thing seems be ring true. All too often , doctors dismiss digging further when the women doesn’t “fit” the breast cancer mold. Under 40 and no family history unfortunately needs more attention and awareness.

We owe it to ourselves , our mothers, sisters, daughters. . Had I not pushed for an ultrasound , my story would’ve had a different ending. My cancer was very aggressive (triple positive) and by the grace of God, had not spread to my lymph nodes.

The joys of pregnancy and future kids were stolen from me but I am still blessed. I had numerous obstacles from the chemo including end stage heart failure, open heart surgeries and strokes, But I am here today, stronger than ever and I want to make a difference. I want to encourage women to know their body and to not be afraid to speak up when something doesn’t seem right.