“How many more treatments do you have?”
It’s the one question I get asked that is the hardest to answer. Recently diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer, the answer is simply, “I don’t know.”
I will never be done with treatment. When I was first diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in late 2015 at 31 years old, the options were laid out, the plan put together, and treatment started in January 2016. It would be 16 rounds of chemo, surgery, and radiation. The medical side of things was the easier part. I did it and pushed through and made it to the next step.
The emotional side of things is what no one can prepare you for. Who knew at age 31, I would have to decide right then and there if I wanted a child. I struggled with the decision and finally decided that I would let nature take its course – if I was meant to be a mother, it would happen.
When I found out my cancer had spread to my lung in April of 2017, everything changed again. The diagnosis solidified the fact I would never have a child, and I’ve had to come to terms with that. What this horrible disease has taught me, though, is more than I probably would have learned in a lifetime. It’s strengthened bonds in my family, my friends, and my relationship with my boyfriend. It’s taught me a lot about myself, humility, and sacrifice.
I am fortunate to have a strong support group. I’m fortunate to have a great job that is understanding and accommodating. I am fortunate to have a boyfriend that has stood by me through all of this. I am 33 years old and will live my life from scan to scan until a true cure is found. But, I’m living and I will continue to live my life to the fullest regardless of my next test result. It’s amazing the good you find in people and situations when you think everything is at its worse.