BENEFITING: Gildas Club-Metro Detroit
I was diagnosed with breast cancer on April 29, 2013 at the age of 33. I had lost my job one week prior to the day that I found the first lump on my breast. I had a doctors appointment scheduled for 3 days later. By this time I had developed 2 more lumps right next to the original lump. Everyone assumed these were just cysts due to my age and the fact that I have no family history of breast cancer. 3 weeks later I finally went in for my mammogram. I had at least 30 different views taken and was then told I would also need an ultrasound, which was then followed by 3 biopsies (all in one day). I was pretty much diagnosed on the spot, but still had to wait for the results of the biopsies to come back so I would know for sure. Those were probably the longest 5 days of my life. That is a phone call that all of my survivor sisters will unfortunately have engraved in their minds for life. It was as if time were moving in slow motion.
The cancer was only on my right side. Besides the 3 lumps, there were small specs of cancer all throughout my breast and into my lymph nodes as well. My breast surgeon told me there was no saving my right breast. I made the very difficult decision to have a double mastectomy, as I knew the chances of the left breast developing it in the future were very high.
On May 31, 2013 I underwent my double mastectomy along with having 29 of my lymph nodes removed from my right arm, only one ended up being positive. This was followed by 5 months of chemotherapy and then 7 weeks of radiation. I also must be on hormone therapy for the next 10 years of my life, which has very unpleasant side effects. I finished radiation on March 4, 2014. I currently have expanders in my chest under the muscle wall along with my chemo port still in. My plan was to have my reconstructive surgery on October 2, 2014 and have my expanders replaced with implants and my port removed. I recently got the unfortunate news that the skin on my radiated side is too messed up to put an implant in it. I am currently weighing my options on what to do as far as my reconstruction goes.
This will be my second year modeling at Bras for a Cause and something I plan to do every year. Last year I was in the middle of chemotherapy and the only bald model. Bras for a Cause impacted my life way more then I could have even imagined. I also met some of the most amazing and inspiring women that have helped me tremendously throughout the roughest year of my life and I love and appreciate every single one of them! xoxo!!