Young Survivor Interview – Laura

After Cancer - Now What? — By on February 26, 2010 at 6:36 pm

From After cancer, now what

Meeting Laura at the Breast Cancer Network of Strength Conference rocked my world a bit. We had not met on the message boards so I was stunned when she told me how old she was when she was diagnosed. br /
br /
Tell me about your cancer – How old were you when you were diagnosed?nbsp; bI was diagnosed in May 2006 at the age of 28./bbr /
br /
What was your diagnosis?nbsp;b I was diagnosed with DCIS, had a tumor in my left breast.nbsp; My cancer was ER+, PR+, and HER2–./bbr /
br /
What types of treatment did you go through?nbsp;b I had a bilateral mastectomy (June 2006), 4 rounds AC, 4 rounds Taxol, span class=”yshortcuts” id=”lw_1266982729_0″ style=”-moz-background-clip: border; -moz-background-inline-policy: continuous; -moz-background-origin: padding; background: transparent none repeat scroll 0% 0%; cursor: pointer;”Oophorectomy/span (ovaries removed, span class=”yshortcuts” id=”lw_1266982729_1″January 2007/span), DIEP flap reconstruction (Nov 2007), and am on Arimidex currently./bbr /
br /
Are there any things you did during treatment that you wish you hadn’t or are there things you wish you had done?nbsp; bThere really isn’t anything I would do differently except that I really regret that I didn’t document my journey more with pictures.nbsp; I am very much into photography now and only have one picture of me bald.nbsp; That really upsets me when I think about it.nbsp; I was very glad that I stayed active and really could keep my life pretty normal throughout treatment.nbsp;/bbr /
br /
Do you have any long term side effects?nbsp; bThe long-term side effects I have are some numbness (not bad) under my arms, span class=”yshortcuts” id=”lw_1266982729_2″hot flashes/span, weight gain (50+ lbs), and I have chemo brain pretty bad!/bbr /
divbr /
divbr /
Tell me about your family. Are you married and did that change due to cancer?nbsp;b I am married, almost 10 years./bbr /
br /
Do you have children?nbsp; Has cancer changed your relationship with them? b I have 2 girls – ages 15 and 9 (they were 11 and 5 when I was diagnosed)nbsp; I don’t think my relationship with my girls has changed all that much, though we may be a little more open about things than we would have been otherwise.nbsp; I tried my best to keep their lives normal- we still went to State Fair (the day of one of my chemo treatments) and I never let them think I was afraid of cancer.nbsp; I told them I would beat it, and I did!nbsp; I hope they see me as a role model in that way./bbr /
br /
Did you have a family history? Did you/have you had the BRAC test?nbsp;b My family history is on my Dad’s side of the family.nbsp; His mother (my Grandmother) had it many years ago (had a span class=”yshortcuts” id=”lw_1266982729_3″ style=”border-bottom: 1px dashed rgb(0, 102, 204); cursor: pointer;”lumpectomy/span and no other treatment- and it hasn’t come back at all- she is 83 now!).nbsp; And my Aunt had it 10 years ago at age 42.nbsp; She had Stage 3 and went through rigorous treatment (span class=”yshortcuts” id=”lw_1266982729_4″stem cell transplant/span in addition to chemo and radiation).nbsp; I was tested for BRCA and have a BRCA 2 mutation.nbsp; Both of my sisters have been tested and do NOT carry that mutation.nbsp; My girls will have to decide when they are 18 if they want to be tested. /b/div/divdiv/divdivspan style=”color: #ff007f;”b/b/spanbr /
br /
Are you involved with other cancer organizations?nbsp;b I am involved in a support group for Young Survivors in my hometown.nbsp; I do the Komen walk each year and am hoping to do the Komen 3-day in Chicago in August.nbsp;/bbr /
br /
Do you attend a lot of conferences? bThis YSC Conference in span class=”yshortcuts” id=”lw_1266982729_5″Atlanta/span is my 3rd YSC Conference and I also attended the “Network of Strength” Conference in Chicagonbsp;in 2008nbsp;and also attended the LBBC Conference in PA last November./bbr /
br /
What do you get out of attending events like this?nbsp; bI enjoy the conferences because it is a chance to meet other young women that have gone through this same journey.nbsp; The “sisterhood” is very inspiring.nbsp; I also like to keep on top of the newest treatments.nbsp; I love to see that there are always new advancements.nbsp; I also like to see what type of research is going on… I am hoping my girls don’t have to go through this when they are older./bbr /
br /
Do people in your life understand why you attend these? nbsp;nbsp; bMy family and friends are always very supportive of my trips to these conferences.nbsp; I have had my Mom and Best Friend with me at each of the YSC conferences and we have a great time.nbsp; /b/divbr /
br /
If younbsp; met a young woman who was diagnosed today what advice would you give her?br /
divbI hope that newly diagnosed women can have someone to talk to- especially someone who has been through this.nbsp;It is so hard for your friends and family to know what you are thinking and feeling when they haven’t gone through this.nbsp; They do mean well, but they really can’t understand 100%.nbsp; Take people up on their offer to help you!nbsp; If people offer to come and cook and clean for you- let them!nbsp; They will feel better if they can help you and you need your rest!nbsp; I know that I felt like my diagnosis was a death sentence, but you really can get through it and a positive attitude can really take you far!nbsp; I had numerous doctors tell me this and they were right!nbsp; I just couldn’t sit and wallow in my sorrows about it- I still had my life to live!/bbr /
br /
Thanks for sharing your story Laura. I’m looking forward to seeing you in Atlanta this weekend. If you want more information about breast cancer and young women visit thea href=”http://www.youngsurvival.org/” Youngnbsp; Survival Coalition/a.nbsp;bnbsp; /bbbr /
/b/divdiv/divdiv class=”blogger-post-footer”img width=’1′ height=’1′ src=’https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/4713736175601908568-5192435759014188237?l=www.aftercancernowwhat.com’ alt=” //div
pa href=”http://feedads.g.doubleclick.net/~a/Pt6jekQwIg3QBLX_OonFXBJ-ckw/0/da”img src=”http://feedads.g.doubleclick.net/~a/Pt6jekQwIg3QBLX_OonFXBJ-ckw/0/di” border=”0″ ismap=”true”/img/abr/
a href=”http://feedads.g.doubleclick.net/~a/Pt6jekQwIg3QBLX_OonFXBJ-ckw/1/da”img src=”http://feedads.g.doubleclick.net/~a/Pt6jekQwIg3QBLX_OonFXBJ-ckw/1/di” border=”0″ ismap=”true”/img/a/pdiv class=”feedflare”
a href=”http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/JRdr?a=qwGtRTITz4Q:YOhRgJYLf-8:yIl2AUoC8zA”img src=”http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/blogspot/JRdr?d=yIl2AUoC8zA” border=”0″/img/a
/divimg src=”http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/blogspot/JRdr/~4/qwGtRTITz4Q” height=”1″ width=”1″/

Please read this blog and let us know what you think below.

Leave a Reply

Trackbacks

Leave a Trackback