Fight like a girl
Hi my name is Jamie and I am 32 yrs old, diagnosed at 31. I have a very active, sweet, funny 4 almost 5 yr old. I am married to a wonderful supportive man. This is my story! I hope to inspire woman and man of all ages and stages. I want them to know that a cancer diagnosis is not a death sentence! I want everyone to know that anything is possible even beating all the odds!
Prior to my diagnosis my husband and I had just purchased our first home together and moving out of his mom's house! We were renovating pretty much the whole house! I was battling with anxiety and just trying to feel normal again. I had pretty bad postpartum anxiety after I had my son and was still dealing with it 3 yrs later.
While I was sitting on the couch one night watching HGTV trying to get inspired for my new kitchen when I had an itch under my right armpit. After I scratched it I kept my hand on my breast and suddenly felt a large hard lump. As I moved my hand and felt more of my breast I felt more hard lumps and bumps. I ask my husband to feel and with a concerned look, he told me he never felt them before. I immediately called my GYN. I was sent for a mammogram and ultrasound. The radiologist told me he was 98% sure they were fibroadenomas. They are hard non-cancerous growths. I needed to be 100% percent so I went on to have a biopsy. My doctor called me with the news on May 22nd 2017. My life will forever be changed from that moment on.
I was diagnosed with stage 1 triple positive breast cancer. Without any hesitation, I chose to have a double mastectomy with expanders and reconstructive surgery.
My doctor explained I had a pretty high chance of getting breast cancer in the left breast and I did not want to take any chances. My husband was very supportive of this decisions and said “whatever gives her the best chance at survival...Do” My surgery was scheduled for July 5th 2017. I started chemo the month after. My port was placed somewhere in between. My chemo regimen was taxol, carboplatin, Herceptin and perjeta. I decided to shave my head 2 days before chemo. I was terrified of losing it in clumps. My husband and son came with me and we made it a fun day for my son. I shaved my head and my husband shaved his. I was fitted for a wig. We took my son to Toys R Us after. I felt free!! It was a very positive experience. My first day of chemo came. They thought my port was flipped so they couldn’t use it and I had to go for a port study. But they proceeded with chemo using a peripheral IV. They started my carbo with no issues. Then came taxol. I reacted within the first mililiter. I was flushed, experienced heart palpitations and felt overall terrible. As soon as they stopped it I felt better! I proceeded with perjeta and herceptin with no problems. The harsh chemo ended Nov 17th the day after my 32nd birthday. I have a new appreciation for birthdays now! Herceptin ended July 27th! My port was removed Sept 6th. I am officially cancer free! Oh and I never lost my hair🤦♀️🤷♀️ But still happy I chose to shave it!
Life has actually never been better. I am much more relaxed. My anxiety was kicked right out of me. I can now enjoy my life the way I should have been all along. I had trouble having our son. Multiple miscarriages and rounds of IVF. We knew what that entailed and decided not to go through an egg retrieval for egg preservation. We are blessed and very happy with our one little man. I had my ovaries removed in February. We as a family are enjoying life to its fullest! I worry that it could come back but I never dwell on this. There is no point to worry about the uncertain.
Cancer is the hardest thing I have ever endured. Remaining positive and having a wonderful support system got me through. My family, my work family and friends made it bearable. Find a good support system. You will need it. Connect with other breasties! There are amazingly strong women out there! Instagram has been a saving grace! @the_breasties @littlepinkpics @pinktreasures98 and so many more!!
Most importantly get comfortable with touching yourself. Your breasts, butt, vagina, every inch of your skin. It will not be the doctor that saves your life, it will be you! Doctors are amazingly smart people but you are your biggest advocate. Listen to your instincts!
I hope this can help at least one person if not many. I am passionate about helping and inspiring others while educating at the same time! Please feel free to contact me anytime with any questions!
Instagram - @jamieg1216