By: Katie Bowman
I had just turned 30 years old. I was living life, loving my body and feeling healthy. I had felt a lump in my right breast, I told myself it had to be nothing I’m so young. I made an appt with my OB/GYN who set me up for a mammogram and ultrasound a couple days later. The ultrasound was over an hour long and they spent so much time looking at my lymph nodes in my arm pit. The tone of their voices told me everything I needed to know. We scheduled a biopsy for the following Tuesday. Come Thursday I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 30.
When they first told us, there were still many pieces of the puzzle missing. I didn’t know what stage it was, and was still waiting on my receptor tests to bc come back.
The following week I met my oncologist and surgeon. I found out I had stage 2B ER/PR+ Breast cancer. A week later I found out I was also BRCA1+ which meant that one of my cancer suppressor genes was mutated. A broken gene I probably inherited from my dad who passed away of Colorectal cancer. Being BRCA1+ meant that I had an 87% chance of getting breast cancer before the age of 40 and a 60% chance of ovarian cancer.
I made the decision to have a double mastectomy in October of 2018, I started chemo in December and finished in May 2019. After chemo I did 6 weeks of daily radiation. After treatment I let my body heal and rest for about 6 weeks and then went on to have a prophylactic hysterectomy in September of 2019 to avoid any ovarian cancer risk. I am surgically post menopausal and take an estrogen blocker daily.
In late 2019 I started the process to my reconstruction that i completed conclude in July 2020.
A few lessons from my journey I wish every one could know; you’re never too young for cancer, be aware and in touch with your body, listen to what it tries to tell you and speak up for yourself. If your battle is just beginning, remind yourself every single day that you are strong and amazing and you are going to be ok. Believe in yourself, your treatment plan, and your doctors. We’re all afraid, we just have to learn how to do it afraid.
Have a wonderful day!