I promise I’ll get better with titles.

I promise I’ll get better with titles.

First of all, THANK YOU for the overwhelming amount of love and support. Each and every one of you reading this, every message, every visit, thank you. Now pop a squat, and eat some frozen grapes because it gives life meaning. Kidding, but they are amazing and I’m pretty sure I’m 85% frozen grapes, 15% cancer now.

I realized that I didn’t go into detail about my diagnosis… So here I go!

Well over a year ago, I felt a small lump in my breast and at that time I thought nothing of it. Being 24 (at the time) why would I think anything of it? A few months later, I noticed it again but only bigger than I remembered. I wasn’t worried much so my next OBGYN appointment I very subtly mentioned that there was a lump, and asked her to examine. So she did… and said nothing. Me *okay cool nothing to worry about.*

Wrong.

From THEN, it grew drastically bigger and more noticeable that it felt like the size of a golf ball. No matter what size breasts you may have, a lump that big becomes noticeable and concerning. I decided to contact my doctor to get a second opinion on the lump. I really was just hoping to get another silent reaction which in my eyes meant “Jessica you weirdo. You’re 25 it’s just part of the breast. Now don’t worry about it again.” The appointment with my doctor took no longer than ten minutes. She immediately felt the lump and requested an ultrasound. (Note: because of my age, she wanted only wanted to do the ultrasound because it was safer for my age.)

The ultrasound results lead to a biopsy, the biopsy results lead to a diagnosis of Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. After the diagnosis, many more tests were done including a mammogram and all testing confirmed that yes, this 25 year old does have cancer.

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Here’s a fun little statistic. AKA why everyone and their mother was surprised to hear about my diagnosis.

Now those of you know who know me, know how I always try and remain positive. The reason I’m still here is because I decided to choose positivity almost five years ago. However, I would be lying if I said this diagnosis is a walk in park. The moment I received the phone call from my doctor asking me to come in to discuss the biopsy results, I knew I had cancer. I cried, and cried, and tried cleaning to distract me from crying but it just turned into a big, loud, vacuuming ,sobbing, cry session. By the time I arrived to my doctor’s office, I accepted my soon to be reality, life with cancer. The weeks to follow have  been nothing short of a roller coaster ride. You know like, egg freezing, hair buzzing, hair falling out, nuclear bone scans, the usual. This ride is not easy, but I have some pretty awesome people in my corner & have met some of the toughest fighters on the way. This includes a 36 year old breast cancer fighter that I now schedule hydration dates with. You can view her blog here. It’s amazing. She’s amazing.

Part two of this blog will follow next week. Chemotherapy has turned me into the napping queen, the sleepy queen, the mushy brain queen and quite frankly,  I don’t have the energy to write right now queen. Tomorrow is the first day of the semester for me, so I need all the coherent brain cells left that I can get.

If you’re able, please donate to Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. All money goes directly towards the American Cancer Society. Donate/Register here

Until next time! ❤

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Why the hell not? My life with cancer.

Why the hell not? My life with cancer.

 

Well guys, I guess one can only go so long without being open about something that can be obvious. Something like hair loss, something like chemotherapy. July 6th of this year I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. Breast Cancer. My cancer is grade three (an aggressive form)  and tomorrow marks my second round of chemotherapy.

“Jessica, you have a diagnosis and a plan of treatment ALREADY in action.” This is the thought that overpowers any worry, any negativity. For now at least. I remind my loved ones of this because like the saying goes “a facial expression is worth a thousand words.” I am so humbled to be living during a time where medicine can save lives, including my own.

Most importantly, I am so humbled for my past and my many years of battling a different kind of demon- the mental health demon. To those of you who know me, you know I will ALWAYS remain open about my past struggles with an eating disorder, with depression, along with my past and current mental battle with generalized anxiety disorder. Up until July 6th many mental health professionals wanted to know the “why’s” and causes to what “started” my eating disorder.

I have the answer now.

Those preteen years, those teenage years, those young adult years of living with a mind consumed with nothing but self-loath and darkness prepared me mentally and emotionally for having breast cancer at the sweet ripe age of twenty-five. When I reflect back on those years, it still seems surreal where I am today compared to where I was then. Hell, I didn’t even think I’d be alive to make it to graduation. It may be the reason I am still in school, but I don’t regret a thing and I will see this finish line this year, proudly. Today, I view life as a beautiful roller coaster and I am thankful everyday to be present.

Friday night I attended the very popular Edison Park Fest… with a wig. I ran into some people from high school. Naturally, my anxious brain immediately jumped to “OMG they saw on social media that I had short hair. Now I have long hair. THEY MUST KNOW I HAVE CANCER.” That thought… entirely opposite of when I went to one of many doctor appointments this past week just wearing a baseball cap. A girl not much older than me had such a sad, sympathetic look on her face when she made eye-contact with me; with me, the young girl with breast cancer. After two days of wearing the wig (I named her Barbara if you were curious) I can say it is NOT for summer. Summer is already the bane of my existence, and adding that wig raises my body heat to the level of red face, pacing body, non-stop saying “it’s so hot,” type of body temperature. So I can either wear Barb out and be miserably hot, or wear hats and people look at me like I have cancer. So why the hell not? Why the hell not be anything but open about my diagnosis? Why add more anxiety? Why keep it on my chest? LOL boob jokes are a constant thing now by the way. Boob jokes between fellow patients because some loved ones don’t find it as funny. Yet. SHOUT OUT TO MY GIRL GRACE. A beautiful thirty-six year old mother, that I met during my first week of treatment. You are amazing, and I am so lucky to have met you. Humor, weird weird humor is the solution to keeping me going with a smile. Naps too. Anyways,  I was planning on keeping this a secret. With more time and thought I know I can take advantage of being diagnosed so young to raise awareness. Not to scare anyone! To change the stigma that breast cancer only happens later in life.

Lastly-feel free to call me “El” from Stranger Things. I mean, what twenty-five year old doesn’t want to be a twelve year old, fictional character?

Thank you to all of my loved ones, and everyone who has reached out to make all of this so much easier. I love you all.

I will attach a link for anyone who is willing to donate to Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. The money raised goes directly to The American Cancer Society. Donate here

If you would like to join us on the walk, shoot me a message :]

Keep on keeping on you beauties ❤