My Mom has Stage Three Breast Cancer

Cancer is such a heavy word with so many different results. You hear the word and are suddenly filled with so many questions. What type? What stage? How long do you have? All these questions came to mind on New Year’s Eve when my mother told me and my sister that she had cancer. My biggest fears had come true. Other things had happened in my life, most within my control, but this I couldn’t do anything about. She waited to tell us until she knew for sure what her prognosis was. She found out during my finals and I’m so happy she waited to tell me. I like to know the information as soon as possible but in this case, I was glad she waited so I could focus. 

A rare form of skin cancer. Rare? Isn’t that bad? Not in this case. It seemed as though it had been isolated to one area, under her armpit. We breathed a sigh of relief knowing that they could surgically remove the lump and there was only a small chance she would need chemo or radiation. The day of her surgery was really hard. I was the one who volunteered to take her to the hospital and bring her home. Little did I know she would have to stay overnight so it was up to me to take care of my sister and pets at home. That was one of the most stressful days I had had in a while. Now that the surgery was over I could breathe, right?

Wrong. They ended up finding another lump even further into her armpit. They now changed her original diagnosis from skin cancer to breast cancer. This meant another surgery where they had to go even deeper into her arm. I’m thankful that her family was able to help with the second surgery because It meant I didn’t have to leave school to help. They completed the surgery successfully and waited to see if the sentinel lymph nodes they removed had cancer in them. 

Love neon signThey got the results back and out of the nine they took out, four of them were cancerous. This meant it had moved from the place of origin so it was more serious than we thought. Her official diagnosis was Stage 3A Breast Cancer. Her doctor wanted to have an aggressive plan so they decided it would be best to remove the main lymph node under her arm and to use chemotherapy and radiation as a way to ensure there are no cancerous cells anywhere else. She is now waiting for her third surgery to take place and a few weeks after will start with chemo.

Cancer can happen to anyone so it is important to know the signs and seek the help of a doctor if you have concerns. My mom is right in the middle of her journey with cancer but I have no doubt that she’ll kick its butt like the bad*ss she is.

Hands forming the shape of a heart