Excuse me ma’am, you must be in the wrong place. I was 21, pushing my stroller with my 6 month baby. Going for my first mammogram.

By: Debbie Schwartz

Excuse me ma’am, you must be in the wrong place. I was 21, pushing my stroller with my 6 month baby. Going for my first mammogram.
With tears falling down my face I explained I was very much in the right place. My sister had just been diagnosed with stage 3 invasive breast cancer, BRCA positive, she begged me to do the minimal and start yearly check ups.
Fast forward, fast forward a second sister getting diagnosed, again BRCA positive, again breast cancer I knew it was time, I was now 31 a mum of 3, but I had to know.
August 2016, I’m sorry Debbie you are BRCA positive.
In August of 2016 I was offered preventative surgery, but I was to afraid, my sister was dying I had to be with her, yes I carried a gene, but I thought to myself it can’t be, I’m sure I’ll be spared.
November 2016 during my monthly self checks I found a lump, my dr calmed me assuring me it’s a harmless cyst, just let it be!
So I let it be.
February 2017 after 10 long years my dear sister lost her fight.
Just 3 weeks later i went in for my 6 monthly MRI, that harmless cyst was no cyst it was a tumour, and now there was a second!
I had just turned 32, I had just buried a sister.
I thought I would be spared.
We all think this can’t be, it won’t happen to me.
Here I was it happened!
Triple negative invasive duct carcinoma
Today I’m very much alive, I turned my triple negative diagnosis in to a triple positive, I live life hard, for myself, and my two sisters that cancer stole!
My message to anyone reading this, know your family history, do your self checks, if you doubt your dr get a second or third opinion.
Know your body well, know it so so well!
I’m here to tell my story, but had I not known my family history, had I not done self checks I wouldn’t be here to share my story!
Knowledge is power.

Debbie

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