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My cancer journey

I went in for my first mammogram in February 2016 at age 43. My mother had passed from breast cancer, so my doctor suggested I go. I was going to wait until I was 45, but decided to go anyway. They found 3 tumors, one was stage II. I had been doing self exams, but not regularly. I had a right side mastectomy and 4 rounds of chemo. There was no cancer in the lymph nodes. All of the cancer was removed with the mastectomy, so things were good and I just needed to have mammograms on my left side going forward. In October 2018, I was at a doctors appointment for something unrelated and had 3 seizures. I ended up in the hospital and was given the news that the breast cancer had metastasized to my brain and lungs. One small tumor on my right frontal lobe that was bleeding, which caused the seizure, and 6 tumors on my left lung. I was in shock. I had no idea metastasis was a possibility. My oncologist had never discussed it with me, and I had not done research until after the diagnosis. I had brain surgery to remove the tumor, and then radiation at that site. I take Ibrance and Letrozole for the lung tumors. My last PET scan was a few weeks ago and it showed no new cancer and the lung tumors are shrinking. It has taken a while to accept that I have stage IV cancer and will be on chemo for the rest of my life. Today I am staying positive and doing what I can to take care of myself. I am a single mother of an 11 and 9-year-old, so I have a lot to live for. I'm convinced a positive attitude is what got me through before, and I know it will now. I hope they will do more research on MBC, as they currently focus more on cancer in the breast. I also hope more doctors discuss metastasis with younger patients, like myself, as there is a fairly large possibility it can happen. Take care of yourselves and carpe diem.

Kendra
WILSONVILLE, OR