I remember feeling the small lump on the left side of my left breast when I was working out. It was December 2017 and I thought it was odd. I also had this cough that I attributed to a cold that would not go away. So I made an appointment with my doctor in January 2018.
I was always meticulous with my breast exams and mammograms and never felt a lump. My last mammogram was May 2017, so for the lump to be there, it had to have grown quickly. And for some strange reason, even before I received the news, I knew it was cancer.
I was diagnosed in February 2018 with triple negative breast cancer stage T2N0 at age 47.
I remember receiving the news at work and feeling completely removed as if I was hearing about another person. All I could focus on was getting the tumor out. I would not accept anything less because as the mother of a 17 year old son and 12 year old daughter, they needed me to be here for them.
So I endured a barrage of tests: Biopsies, CT, PET, MRI, Mammaprint, genetic testing. I had a Port-A-Cath placed for chemotherapy. And the plan was for dose dense doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide for 4 cycles, then a partial mastectomy, followed by 12 weeks of taxol and 6 weeks of radiation.
I have no history of breast cancer in my family though I found out my first cousin was diagnosed with the same cancer only 3 months before at age 45. I was 47 at the time.