I was diagnosed with stage three invasive ductal carcinoma, a form of breast cancer, on March 6, 2018. It was a huge shock to me, as I had been running four miles per day and ate healthy -- I was in great shape, so I did not think I could get sick. But, I did. After my diagnosis, I went through five months of chemotherapy, had a mastectomy and had five and a half weeks of radiation.
The week I was diagnosed, I had genetic testing to learn if I carried the BRCA1 gene, which makes women at high risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. It is the gene that Angelina Jolie has that led to her decision to remove her natural breasts. My results showed that I did not carry the BRCA1 gene or any of about 80 genes they looked for that would put me at high risk for developing cancer. At the end of the day, cancer just happened to me.I was unlucky. The news was hard to take, but it all happened so fast in the beginning that there was not much time to think about it -- I had to select an oncologist, an oncology surgeon and get a port placed in my left arm in a matter of weeks so that I could begin chemo.
I had the appointments, went through active treatment, and was blessed to have had so many people with me throughout the process. I could not have done it without their love and support.