Teen Cancer America had a chance to sit down and have a Q&A with one a young mother, Kelly, to discuss Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Although a diagnosis of breast cancer is distressing at any age, it is always important to check with your doctor if you feel anything unusual. Nearly 7% of women with breast cancer are diagnosed in between the national AYA (adolescent and young adult) ages of 15 to 39.
If you are a young woman that is currently going through or recovering from breast cancer and looking for information and resources, please visit the Young Survival Coalition.
What kind of Cancer did you have?
I had triple-negative inflammatory breast cancer
Does telling your story get easier or harder over time?
It gets easier to say “I had cancer.” to new people, but it get’s a lot harder to share the little details. Not because you can’t remember them, but because remembering the little things, the tiny moments that made up your cancer story (who went to your treatments with you, how sick you were after each one, the pain you felt after your seventh surgery) can make cancer feel all too real again for so many of us.
Has hearing stories from other patients, survivors, or caregivers helped you in your journey?
Reaching out to other survivors was such an integral part of my survivorship, really early on in the process. I made lifelong friends with other survivors whose stories resonated with me. I’ve never stopped wanting to hear stories. They are therapeutic for both the teller and the listener, and we can learn so much from one another.
What was it like being a mom and having to go through treatment?
UNREAL.. I was just learning how to take care of this tiny little human, I wasn’t thinking about anything else in the whole world other than her. I was completely blindsided by cancer. It was a juggling act, and I was a clown that hadn’t been to clown college. My daughter was a year and a half old when I was diagnosed. She was getting really good at walking and running. She was an absolute handful and I loved every second of being her mother. But I was very sick and it was a lot to handle.
If there was any information that you could share to any AYA going through treatment, what would it be and why?
Never ever, never ever stop fighting! Don’t fight just for yourself, but fight for every single one of us who has, is, or will go through cancer. It’s not fair and we absolutely must find a cure!