Rebecca - Stage 2B

Rebecca

IDC Stage 2B, New York

“My mind goes often to “what if I hadn’t found it” “what if I hadn’t gone to my doctor” “what if I felt it in March and couldn’t see the doctor because of covid.” I worry about women who are missing appointments under these circumstances.”

I was skiing with my family for New Years when I felt a bit of a general dull pain in my right boob. Sure enough there was a lump between 6 & 7 o’ clock. I wasn’t worried. I flew home Jan 1 and saw my doctor Jan 2. She wasn’t too concerned (it wasn’t as hard or immobile as a typical tumor) but said I should get imaging done to be sure.

We spent the rest of that appointment discussing my hopes to become pregnant later that year and I left and scheduled my first mammogram for Jan 10. A Friday.

I went to the appointment alone. Nervous for the procedure, but not the results. Whoops! The mammo was not nearly as bad as people say (I wish people would stop saying it’s so awful) but I was told right away that the images were concerning. I had to wait the weekend for the biopsy and while every person I knew volunteered to hang with me, it brought lots of free time and worrying.

On Jan 13, I had a biopsy. On Jan 14, I was diagnosed. I also found out Im BRCA2+ and at an increased risk for other gynecological cancers.

On January 17, I got my full pathology: ER/PR+, Her2 negative, no distant mets. I got the good news that my prognosis was good but I also got the devastating news that pregnancy would no longer be an option for me. Pregnancy causes an increase in the hormone that my cancer feeds on – estrogen – so pregnancy increases my risk of recurrence.

This piece of the diagnosis has been the most difficult emotionally. I have always dreamed of being pregnant with my own baby. Even as a single woman & after 7 months of grueling treatment (IV chemo, radiation, dmx), I have the same priority: have a baby. The timeline has never been clearer: do it now.

Rather than feel sorry for myself I count myself lucky to live in a time where science is where it is! I froze my eggs and I can have a biological child via gestational carrier. This will be costly and more complicated than my own pregnancy but it is a blessing and I am excited for the option. I know I will be a wonderful mother & I am not going to let this cancer stop me.

My mind goes often to “what if i hadn’t found it” “what if I hadn’t gone to my doctor” “what if I felt it in March and couldn’t see the doctor bc of covid.” I worry about women who are missing appts under these circumstances.

As much as I can’t believe I had cancer, I’m grateful I felt the lump. Grateful I had it checked. Grateful my doctor sent me for imaging. Grateful for everyone who got me into meetings in record speed. Grateful for access to the BEST doctors. Grateful I was diagnosed when it was still treatable & curable. Grateful to be able to spread the word and awareness and be there for the sisters who will come after me. ”

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