Your Shared Cancer Stories
I’M TOO YOUNG! ??????????????
My name is Valencia, I am 23 years old. 3 weeks ago my life took a traumatic turn for the worst. My mother was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer when she was 32, so of course, I needed to start getting my normal exams done 10 years minus her diagnosed age.
I went in like it was any other day, just wanting to get it done and over with, as I sit there waiting for the doctor, I think to myself “gah lee, it’s never taken them this long”. I tried not to let my mind wonder too far, but unfortunately that didn’t help me any when the doctor finally came in with the results “we found a lump, and we need to get it tested”. The very next morning I had my biopsy, at the time I thought it was the most painful thing I had ever felt in my life, little did I know what had yet to come. I go through military doctors so within 48 hours I had my results. Now if you don’t know how the military works, the air force anyways, if it’s good news there is no need to come in, in my case, I answered the phone and heard “how soon can you get here”. As quickly as all this started, my heart dropped. I didn’t know what I was feeling; it was like I went numb.
After I collected my thoughts, I continued to stay positive, “maybe it isn’t that bad, maybe they can just take it out and I’ll be fine”? As I walked into the doctor’s office and sat down, I watched him there, sitting behind his desk, not wanting to look up at me. He slowly got up, came around and sat on the desk right in front of me, that’s when my life would change forever. Valencia he says, I wish there was an easy way to tell you this, but you have a type of breast cancer called Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma (IDC); so imagine little old me, sitting there, nothing but 23 years old, looking at him like he is speaking a foreign language. As he continues to explain what comes next, I just went blank, couldn’t hear anything, wasn’t really seeing anything, all I felt was pain, a sharp pain in my heart. The tears started to flow, for a good 15 minutes before I calmed down enough for Dr. White to tell me what came next. He said; well next we take lymph nodes, see if it spread, if it hasn’t, then we take the tumor out, and follow up with radiation. To me, that sounded outstanding compared to what I had to watch my mother go through.
The very next morning, I went in for the lymph node dissection (again, worst pain ever to date lol). Within 48 hours, test results again, at this point, I was hoping and praying it hadn’t spread, but then again I had already prepared myself for the worst. Okay, we took 15 lymph nodes, and 11 of them came back positive. I looked at him with this blank stare on my face, I felt it go numb, and I asked him “okay so what does that mean”? He looked at me and said “it means you are Stage IIIA, the tumor is bigger than 2cm in size, but smaller than 5, and has spread to more than 9 of your underarm lymph nodes”. Of course my next question was “what is the survival rate” ... he tells me a whopping 56%! We discuss treatment options, which include 3 different types of chemo, 3x3 rounds, for 18 weeks followed by radiation.
Since finding all this out last week, I’ve cried, drank, cried, drank, cried ... then drank some more, until I finally came to terms with reality, and realized that I have the most amazingggg support system in the world, from the people I work with, friends and family, there isn’t a person in this world that couldn’t beat this with the support I have behind me. And with the Grace of God I will beat this thing!
Being 23, and having to face the fight of your life, before your life has actually even begun, is the most terrifying thing I think anyone should ever have to face. But if you let it get the best of you, it will, believe me. So I am going into this, whole heartedly, and I am going to kick some cancer BUTT!
Valencia's e-mail: email@example.com