October 25th 2018 my cancer journey begun.
At 37 years old with no family history of breast cancer I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer, HER2+ stage 3 grade 2.
I’ve undergone a single mastectomy, chemotherapy and I’m now having 12 months of targeted drug therapy called Herceptin and will undergo reconstructive surgery before the end of the year.
These past year has been hard for me, my husband and my two young children.
But the hardest part for me has been my body image post mastectomy. I do not regret the decision to remove my breast it was the best course of action but it has affected me more than I could have imagined, I think deep down both my husband and I knew it was going to take its toll on me.
Looking in the mirror is hard and I mean actually looking not just glancing to see that I don’t have anything stuck in my teeth. But actually stopping and looking to see my full reflection the one I don’t let others see. One breast missing, no hair, extra kilos, the tears in my eyes.
It has taken more from me than I’m willing to admit and more than people are able to see.
I want to empower young women to known their bodies, understand changes and help them be their best advocate for themselves.
When I first discovered the changes in my breasts I was 36 years old and was told “you’re too young for a mammogram”
I was given an ultrasound but it was dismissed as a hormonal lump post breast feeding.
Women need to know they have a right to request tests, to seek a second or even third opinion if that is what it takes. To know that this disease does not discriminate based on age, young women get breast cancer too.