Hi, my name is Shannon, and I feel as if a big part of my life is defined by my Stage IV metastasized Breast Cancer. I was diagnosed denovo (means that I was stage IV at diagnoses) in 2016.
I am married and have three kids, and one step child. My children range in age from 28 years old to 5 years old today.
I was 34 years old when diagnosed. My 5 year old son is Autistic, and he had accidentally kicked me in the chest during a meltdown, and it had really hurt. After a few days, it still hurt, and I thought I had a blood bubble in my chest from the kick, so I let it go a little longer. After two weeks it was still there, so I went to the doctor. They sent me to the OBGYN, and they sent me to get a mammogram, they did not think it was just a bruise, and said it was probably a cyst because I was young.
After the mammogram, on the same day, they had me go in for some biopsies because they did not only see one spot, they saw four spots. By this point I am just trying to stay calm because they were skirting the word cancer. They biopsied all spots with help from an ultrasound. Approximately five days later I get a call that they want me to come and and discuss the results, and could I come in right away. I knew right then that it was cancer, why would they do that if it wasn’t. I go in, and it is a cry fest with my OBGYN, it is cancer. She referred me to the Forbes Cancer Institute, which I have been going to ever since.
They ordered more tests, more scans, everything is moving so fast now, and I feel like I am in a whirlwind. Before this, I had never really had any health problems, no machine tests, no scans, no surgeries, no daily medications. I found out that I am a little claustrophobic and can not handle the MRI machine too well. After every scan I received another phone call about another spot on it that meant a tumor. After all scans, I have tumors in my lymph nodes, my lungs, in my spine, and in my arm bone.
I have never cried so much in my life. I felt like I was dying already and kept thinking about my kids and if I would see them grow up, or if I will see any grand babies. I still do.
Right now I am on my second line of treatments that are keeping progression at bay, and will get infusions every three weeks for the rest of my life, or if it stops working, or if my heart can not handle the stress anymore. I hope and pray that it will work the rest of my days, whether that be months or years! Every cancer is different and it can affect each person in a different way. We need more research done on stage IV cancer, so that it can hopefully one day be as simple as a blood test that will determine treatment that will save our lives!
YWBCAF has helped support me mentally and financially. They have support and resources that have helped me through some of the bad times that cancer has put me and my family through!