I was diagnosed with Stage 2B Breast Cancer exactly one month before my 31st birthday.

It’s been a whole year now since diagnosis, and I gratefully can say I am cancer free!

On August 11, 2021 I was diagnosed with Stage 2B Estrogen Positive Her 2- Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
breast cancer, exactly one month before my 31 st birthday. My world came crushing down; my heart was
pulled from my chest. The breast surgeon called around noon that day to share the results from my
biopsy taken just two days prior. I was alone preparing lunch for my two toddlers when I answered the
call. The silence on the other side of the phone was deafening. The surgeon paused for a moment,
unable to make out the words at first to tell me what I knew in my heart all too well would be the case.
“It’s not good news, right?” I abruptly interrupted her, and that’s where my unwanted journey began.
Since that call, 365 days ago, I have gone through 5 months of 16 chemotherapy infusions of the ACT
regime, a bilateral mastectomy, and 28 rounds of breast radiations. I also had genetic testing done
which concluded that I have a genetic mutation called ATM; this increases my risk of being diagnosed
with breast and pancreatic cancer. Coming from a large extended family with a strong cancer line of
these two types, this news was even more disheartening, though sadly not surprising. But this past year
has taught me the importance of knowing your body well and being the biggest advocate for yourself
because by doing so, you can save your life as I did my own. I was the one who noticed the first lump in
my breast and then also the swollen lymph node under my arm pit that developed about two months
after the first lump, showing how quickly the cancer had spread from the initial site. Because of all this, I
have quickly learned to live big, enjoy each moment of every day, and to be grateful for the life I was
given and gratefully still have because tomorrow is not guaranteed. So I am living for today, and I AM