Many women who have followed my journey have asked me what breast cancer I had and what grade it was.
Before my diagnosis I had no idea young men and women could suffer this, let alone know the types of breast cancer.
When my surgeon told me those dreadful words, he told me they were pretty sure my cancer was Triple Negative (cancer that tests negative for estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors, and excess HER2 protein).
I had two lumps which were cancerous in my left breast, one was 5cm and the other was 3cm. The wise words of my oncologist “it’s just spontaneous”.
I am not one for statistics but from what I have learnt from the professionals is this type of breast cancer is harder to treat (depending on the grade) and more likely to recur. Yes, I am one of the lucky ones who caught it fairly early which is why the chemo cocktail I was given worked wonders! This is why early detection is so important!
This picture was taken 2 months after Betty was reconstructed! My surgeon is amazing and scars will fade.
I later discovered after Betty was removed that the cancer I had was also 10% hormonal - I was never going to be a straight forward case!
With the cancer being slightly hormone positive, I have to take a drug on a daily basis called Tamoxifen which has its perks along with many unwanted side effects. My reality is I have been thrown into early menopause at the age of 31!
Before I started chemo, we made the decision as a family that we didn’t want any more children (Nevaeh is the equivalent of having three full on toddlers).
The cancer that consumed my life for 9 months did spread to my lymph’s nodes under my arm - one to be precise.
It was confirmed to be grade 3! This is the most aggressive grade, very fast growing and is more common in young men and women diagnosed with breast cancer and can be more difficult to treat.
There is also the staging of cancer. The doctors will determine the staging of a cancer from whether it is contained or has spread to other parts of the body! My cancer was in my breast and in my lymph’s nodes which meant it had spread from the original source. I was diagnosed as stage 3 (locally advanced). To put this into context, there are only 4 stages! Stage 4 is terminal and the treatment options are limited - it’s more about the prolonging and quality of life, although I do know some women who have defied the odds and are in remission.
EARLY DETECTION IS KEY!!
I found mine in the shower and gut instinct told me something wasn’t right! Don’t think you will be wasting the professionals time, they want the best outcome whether it be nothing or early stages.
I am looking forward to 2022 when I will hopefully hear my oncologist say “Lucy, you are in remission” Although I am clear of cancer, I won’t hear the words REMISSION until 5 years after treatment.