I had lived a very healthy lifestyle. To top it off I had been a certified personal trainer for over 10 years at the time and had exercised regularly for most of my life!
How could this be happening? Here’s the short version. They first found non-invasive stage 0 breast cancer and I had the option of a lumpectomy with radiation or a mastectomy and no radiation. I chose the latter hoping after my reconstruction I could recover and go back to my life. Two weeks after surgery, pathology found another tumor that was invasive breast cancer and stage 1. It had been removed during my mastectomy. Sounds good, right? My tumors tested estrogen and progesterone positive and my oncologist said we’re just waiting for one more test on the 2nd tumor. Unfortunately for me, it came back HER2+ (a gene amplification or protein overexpression). HER2+ breast cancers tend to grow faster, are more aggressive and are more likely to spread and come back compared to HER2- breast cancers. The good news, there are medicines specifically for HER2+ breast cancer. The bad news, chemo was required and the treatments last for one year!! The doctor told me I would lose my hair and be extremely fatigued.
I was devastated.
Depression, denial, bargaining… I wanted to run away and never come back! Lose my hair?!? Put poison in my veins and make me physically sick?!? Why make a healthy person sick?!? Sometimes I still can’t believe this happened! I finished all my treatments and had my last infusion in June of 2018.
I decided I needed to show my three girls that being here for them (healthy) was more important than my hair. And I firmly believe that my excellent health and physical shape prior to this diagnosis made all the difference. I recovered quickly and now I am able to help others do the same.
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