"Hello. I am 39 years old. I was originally diagnosed at age 34 with Stage I IDC with lympho-vascular invasion, but clean lymph nodes. I had an oncotype of 16, yet still chose to have chemo. I had a bilateral mastectomy with failed reconstruction and many surgeries for MRSA. I tested negative for the BRCA gene and the BART gene. I have no history of breast cancer in my family. I have been on tamoxifen for five years in December.
"Fast forward to April 2015, I went for my five year check up and my tumor markers were slightly elevated, so the oncologist did a chest x-ray and brain scan. The brain scan came back clear, but the chest x-ray showed pneumonia. I had no symptoms of pneumonia, so he said we will keep an eye on it. In the middle of May, I started getting a temp so they prescribed me Augmentin, followed by Bactrim because the fever would not go away. A second chest x-ray revealed a pleural effusion, so I was sent for a CT scan. I had a thoracentesis done and had a liter of fluid removed. The fluid revealed ER/PR+ cancer cells, so it is considered a recurrence and stage IV. I had a PET scan this past Friday, and I will find out where else it has spread tomorrow.
"The hardest part, right now, is seeing my son, husband, and my parents being so devastated. My son is 19 and he wants me to see him get married and have children. He is my only child. My husband has no children and we had been trying to get pregnant. That is not an option now, so that is pretty heartbreaking for him. I am an only child as well and my poor mother is a mess. Another thing that is upsetting is that I received my Associates Degree as a Registered Nurse in May 2013 and I am currently working on my last 4 weeks of school for my Bachelor's Degree. It feels like wasted time. I am sure I will get more positive as I get my treatment plan underway, but right now it is pretty depressing.
"The thing that has helped me so far is all of the prayers and messages on Facebook. I never knew how many people really cared about me. I came to this site in 2010 and the people here really helped me through some tough times. I know that they will help me again. Thank you.
"Picture is of me and my son at his high school graduation last year."
-- hopeful34, 2 months metastatic
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