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PettyR22's Story

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"I am a 35 year old mother of a beautiful 2-year-old baby girl. When I was six months pregnant, I felt a hard lump in my right breast. Of course, I figured it was my breast acting funny with milk ducts due to pregnancy but it still worried me a little. My OBG ordered an ultrasound which revealed a cyst that 'did not look like the bad kind.' I noticed during pregnancy it grew harder and bigger and fast! A couple weeks after giving birth I had a biopsy done which confirmed TNBC. My daughter was exactly 4 weeks old when I found out. I started chemo in December of 2015. Four rounds of cisplatin, fours rounds of AC, 7 rounds of Taxol before more scans revealed the tumor was growing and not responding. Radical mastectomy of right breast and a skin graft on right thigh was done on 6/24/16. What a recovery that was! Two wound vacuums and 20+ metal staples in chest. Sentinel lymph node and 14 others removed. All nodes and margins were negative for cancer. I just knew I had won the fight!! Radiation began and I completed 30 rounds by September of 2016.

"I celebrated my daughter's first birthday and I had beat cancer! What a wonderful celebration. This nightmare was behind me and only great things to come.

"December 2017...weird spasm in my right leg that left my foot numb. [I thought] 'Hmm...must be overdoing it. My routine checkup with my oncologist is coming so I should mention this.' MRI on brain confirmed one large tumor on left frontal lobe...eight more small tumors spread throughout. Christmas was a blur. I tried to be happy for my daughter and family over the holidays but I am so scared. On 1/5/18 i had brain surgery to remove the one large tumor. I made it through and am home recovering now.

"Let me tell you, it is so weird healing from brain surgery!! Things get heavy feeling and I [have] a lot of weird sensations. The steroids I am on make me an emotional roller coaster! I eat ALL the time, no joke I am eating 24/7. My face and belly are swollen like a moon pie! It’s all from the steroids, ladies, so if you are going through this please know, you can do it too!! I am going this week to get radiation started for the other small brain tumors. Radiosurgery I think is what they call it where they will make me a special helmet to pin point the tumors for high dosage radiation. I also will have a bone and CT scan to see if there are other places in my body with more lesions. I am praying there are not more on other organs but I know it is likely. I am looking for hope that even if there are other places on other organs, that I still have options. I know this is not curable, but I can be treated. I can live with metastatic TNBC. I want to see my little girl grow up to be three, four, sixteen!!

"I am happy to chat, give encouragement, lend an ear. I would like some reassurance and hope that I can do this, that I will still have some years ahead. That there are women just like me still going strong!

"Love and peace!"

-- PettyR22, diagnosed metastatic in December 2017

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