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Last year, at the beginning of my senior year of high school, my mother was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer. As my only parent, this diagnosis frightened but at the same time, I knew I needed to put on a brave face and be there to support my mom. Within a few weeks of her chemo treatment, my mom’s hair started to fall out, and I could see that she was becoming self-conscious about her appearance. The following week, a few of my close friends and I shaved our heads for breast cancer awareness and, of course, to support my mom. I wanted her to know that she is beautiful and that she is not alone in this journey. My mom decided that she did not want cancer to control her life, so she decided to shave her entire head before chemo caused all of her hair to fall out. The next few months were rough, but my mom’s a strong-willed woman. I’m happy to say after seven months of chemotherapy, my mom is cancer-free.
In 2011, I was diagnosed with an advanced stage of breast cancer. Like any other diagnosed patient, I was shocked. At 25 years old, I was living my life in the city h my friends and held a stable job. While I want to say that I didn’t let my diagnosis control my life, it put my life on pause. I wanted to hide my diagnosis from others, because I did not want to be defined by my diagnosis. I had the mentality that if I officially told others, everything would become too real. I had my radiation surgery scheduled a few weeks after my diagnosis; a week before my surgery, my anxiety overwhelmed me and my roommates confronted me about their growing concern for me. I came clean and told them. It was extremely hard, but at the same time, it lifted a weight from my shoulders. I realized that I needed people to support me and that I did not need to be alone on my journey. After the surgery and several months of chemotherapy, I have been cancer-free for nearly ten years.
I was recently diagnosed with stage I breast cancer. While I am glad that I was diagnosed in an early stage, I am still very scared. I have my surgery next weekend and I’m not sure what to expect. My family and close friends have been very supportive, but at the same time, none of them understand how I really feel. If any of you could give me any advice, I would really appreciate it.
While I may not be a survivor nor patient, I became a part of this online community to become more informed about breast cancer. Reading through all of your stories has been truly inspiring, and I wish all of you the best.
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