I was doing a simple morning stretch over my head when I rested my hand under my armpit and felt the lump. You'd think my first thought would be, oh, this is nothing. But, I knew. I was diagnosed with stage 2, triple negative breast cancer.
I learned quickly that there are a lot of negative associations with triple negative. It is aggressive. It is fast growing. In fact, even though I am in my 30s, I did have a mammogram done less than seven months before my diagnosis -- and there was no lump. A two-inch tumor formed in that short amount of time. Now I'm halfway through chemo and it's being annihilated.
Triple negative responds wickedly fast to chemotherapy, and I'd like for that to be the initial response that any woman who receives this diagnosis is told.
I am a news reporter and started sharing my story publicly, which has been both wonderful and painful. I am grateful everyday for support from people across Pittsburgh and across the world. Survivors and women going through chemo have reached out to me from all across the U.S., Europe, and Australia -- we all hate A/C and carbo and chemo during a global pandemic equally!
So many of us are mothers. Early on in my fight I decided I would 'Fight Like a Mother.' I have a two-year-old and a five-year-old who need their mommy. I made a decision to be unwavering in my thoughts: I am the warrior and there is no question I will win.
I often ask myself, why me? And sometimes, more specifically, why did God give a journalist breast cancer if I'm not meant to share my story and make a difference? So, I'm sharing it all -- the strong days and the sick ones. The sadness and the hope. There have been so many advancements, there is so much room for hope. The support and prayers from around the world ended up helping me in my journey. In my effort to spread awareness and give hope, that's what thousands of women have given to me.