In Loving Memory of Dena’

Family, Love, Friends, Support, Peace, I could go on for pages on the reasons I have to smile. This is why on April 6, 2016 when I received the news that the lump I found was in fact cancerous I still smiled my brightest smile. Because I knew this wasn’t something that I had to face on my own.

Of course there was initial shock I am only 26. However at 26, I am quite thorough and very observant, especially with myself. So of course during my annual uncomfortable paps when my doctor ask me if I do at home breast checks the answer is always yes. At least twice a week I check my breasts, whether in the shower or at night before bed. To me, there really is no right or wrong way to check your breasts. Of course, there are ways that may be more accurate. However, if at least twice a week you feel around and check you will be able to notice when something is abnormal. For myself, I felt a small lump on my left breast at the 11 0’clock position if you can imagine your breast being a clock.  I immediately let my Mommy feel it and she too thought I should go and get it checked out just to be sure. After a visit to with PCP she really didn’t feel anything, but still referred me to get an ultrasound just so I would have a clear mind. I scheduled the ultrasound immediately.

After completing an ultrasound, which resulted in a biopsy I hopped in the car on pins and needles, with my Mommy and my cousin to take my nieces to Kalahari for their spring break.  A very welcome distraction, however before we could cross into Ohio the results were in. Can you imagine the voice on the other end telling you the area was in fact cancerous, I couldn’t cry, scream, or be scared my nieces would have instantly picked up on it and we were driving on the expressway. All I could do was look out the window and cry silent tears.  Which was really all I needed, I didn’t need to scream and cry uncontrollably. I had so much strength and peace come over me as my mother squeezed my hand with so much love and simply said, “Its okay, I’m going to be alright, I’m here with you every step of the way.” Just like she always has been. She has all four sides covered at all times. I truly couldn’t ask for better parents. That’s where my peace began. We continued the trip to Kalahari, we decided to cut the trip short and only stay for only one night since the “big meeting” wasn’t until Friday.

The BIG meeting was a complete Tsunami. I was held up for hours in medium size exam room with family and rotating doctors. That day I was given more information than all 4 years of college. The key things I retained was that my tumor was small, in fact it was impressive, amazing even that I found something that wasn’t suppose to be detectable for another 6 months.  I was stage 1 invasive ductal carcinoma and the tumor was triple negative.  From there I still had to meet with a plastic surgeon and fertility doctor. Although I am being swarmed with so many things at once and am indeed fighting for my life I still feel as though I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. So I’m going to take one day at a time and keep Struttin!

Join me on my journey as kick cancers a** and encourage women like me to check the breast!!!