By: Chelsea Fleming
Hello! My name is Chelsea and I am 36 years old. I was diagnosed with stage 1 ER/PR positive breast cancer in April of 2019 after finding the lump myself. The whirlwind ensued after that. I immediately began the process for an egg retrieval to preserve my options of children. Shortly after that procedure, I had my port placed and geared up for 8 rounds of dense dose, neo-adjuvant, ACT chemotherapy every 2 weeks. I didn’t tolerate chemotherapy very well and ended up in the hospital 3 times for neutropenia. I completed my last round on August 15, 2019 and proceeded to prepare for the surgery. I decided on a lumpectomy with reduction and reconstruction (simultaneously) and September 15th this was completed. Chemo had taken care of most of the tumor, however since there was some remaining, my surgeon decided to send it off for additional pathology. This is where it was determined that I was also HER2 positive, making it now a triple positive breast cancer. Just when I thought it was over, new discovery signed me up for a year of Herceptin & Perjeta, after 20 rounds of radiation. I am currently on round #14 of 17. I also started hormone suppression meds in December of last year (Letrozole & Lupron shots). Needless to say, the last 18 months have been insane, but I have made it this far & I am so thankful for my family, friends, medical team and medical interventions. There were many days along this journey that I had to just take it “a minute at a time”, I have learned that this is ok. I am now working on trying to find my “new norm” and with the pandemic, it is proving to be a little difficult-yet familiar because masked and isolated is how I had to spend my time during chemo lol. This diagnosis has ignited a fire in me, to educate young women on the importance of knowing your body and advocating for themselves and their medical care. Cancer is not a club that I ever wanted to be a part of, but now that I am here, I want to do whatever I can to help others.