"I found the lump, myself, by accident in November of 2001. I was undressing and scratching the area under my left armpit when I felt the lump. With two maternal aunts with BC and a three-year-old son, I knew not to mess around. I saw a doctor immediately who referred me to a surgeon. Although no one seemed very concerned, it turned out to be stage IIA breast cancer. I went through 3 months of chemotherapy, 7 weeks of radiation, and took tamoxifen for 5 years. Cancer was pretty much in my rearview mirror, when in February 2012 my annual mammogram showed a new, but very small primary. In the process of planning my double mastectomy with tram flap reconstruction, they discovered the cancer had spread to my bones. Not the new cancer, but the old cancer from 10 years earlier. I underwent more radiation on my spine, in addition to the double mastectomy and tram reconstruction. I was stable on tamoxifen for two years. Most recently, a scan in March 2014 showed signs of progression. 11 days ago I had a hysterectomy and will move on to an aromatase inhibitor if the progression is confirmed with another scan in June. I continue to work full time as a high school teacher. I try not to take anything in life for granted. Especially the precious time spent with my wonderful and loving husband Mark, and my amazing and intelligent son, Nick, who will soon turn 16!"
--kayrnic (Kay), Broomfield, CO, USA, diagnosed at age 28