Now, let’s get to the matter at hand.
At age 24 I was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer. “… Huh?” “Triple…what?” “… Am I going to die?” My 24 year old brain has no knowledge of breast cancer, didn’t even know there are different types. To my mind, “Cancer = Death.”
Furthermore, according to society, and the information provided by the experts and medical professionals; breast cancer doesn’t happen at age 24. From age 40 and up definitely, with a few rare cases of women in their 30s. This was obviously a load of crap, because here I am, diagnosed with one of the most if not THE most aggressive form of breast cancer at age 24.
“This cannot be happening!” “…Am I going to die?”
I would ask you to imagine how I felt, the impact my diagnosis had on my life; but since I consider that an impossible task, let me set stage and give you a glimpse of my life before that fateful day. Then, just maybe, you will have a modicum of understanding.
At age 22 I had been married for a year. My husband and I had no kids as yet but that was part of our plan. You see, we had a carefully crafted plan; when we were going to have children, when we were going to purchase our first home etc. Don’t misunderstand, we were not naïve enough to think everything would go exactly according to plan but we had set parameters which were crafting our lives together. I was in my final year at UWI. In a nutshell, life was good.
In March 2007 (I am still 22), my father dies. In May 2007, my brother in law dies. In September 2007, I turn 23. Despite the difficult year we have had, my husband and I are sticking to our plans because while we have lost loved ones, our lives must go on.
In January 2008, I get a job; one which I believe will help put me on the necessary career path to assist with reaching our goals. Life is good again. We still miss my dad and his brother, it still hurts but things are looking up right? In September 2008 I turn 24.
In November 2008, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I left work during my lunch hour for a quick visit “just to hear what this doctor had to say,” I told my boss, “It won’t take long.” I would like to paint a vivid picture of how I sat in the office, the words the doctor used and my responses but I can’t, all I heard was “blah, blah, blah, … you are going to die!” I can’t clearly remember much about that visit or the first few weeks following but you can believe; life was no longer good.
At least, NOT YET.