Flap surgery 11.1

St. Louis, Missouri, USA

I was 44 years old when I was diagnosed. My mother and my sisters had previously had breast cancer and are survivors.

Because of my family history I was checked every 6 months. I found my first lump at 28 years old. Actually, my fiancé at the time noticed my breasts had bumps that felt different. After 4 lumpectomies, and mammogram/MRI’s every 6 months, I found another lump from a self exam.

I found my lump on the outer right side of my right breast in October 2017, I was all of a sudden extremely tired, laying my head on the kitchen table and napping while helping my young daughters with homework-I knew something was wrong.

I missed my 6 month check up in November and decided to put it off. I should not have waited!

My doctor listened to me and trusted me. He saved my life!

After the biopsy, cancer was definitely there, a double mastectomy showed cancer was in both breasts, lymph nodes and it was on the move.

I had two emergency surgeries from infections in the next month and then a long road of chemotherapy.

When the nurse calls your chemo The Red Devil, she is not joking of what hell comes with it.

Then radiation… so much radiation.

Since then I’ve had 4 more surgeries and I’m still a stranger in my own body, but I’m here with my daughters and I’m making plans. I’m trying to live out my dreams.

Advice for newcomers: If I can help anyone, my advice is to know your body and listen to your body. Be a protector of your life! I break anytime I hear of someone with a new diagnosis, or someone who “lost” the fight. I worry daily that my cancer is coming back. Sometimes I try to live too much… and need to slow down and catch my breath. It’s because I feel like I’m not doing enough because, let’s face it, I’m on borrowed time. In May of 2017 I had no signs of cancer. By November of that year I had it in both breasts and lymph nodes on both sides. Please love yourself enough to take care of yourself!♥️

Instagram: @lea.maria.d