On May 31, 2018 just over 3 months after achieving my lifelong goal of winning an Olympic gold medal I was diagnosed with Stage 2 triple positive breast cancer. To say that it rocked my world is an understatement. I went through all the phases. At first I experienced disbelief. Like, ‘No. This can’t be right. Not me. I can’t have this. I then shifted to anger and frustration, like, ‘This isn’t fair I have done everything right. This can’t be happening to me.’ It went against everything I believed to be true.
If you are young, healthy and have no family history you don’t get breast cancer. At least that’s what I used to think. I quickly learned that cancer doesn’t discriminate but I truly believe being healthy and active during my treatments will help me get through it.
Prognosis: Is good. We caught it early and I underwent aggressive with treatments because I am young, fit and have no family history.
My Treatment: First step was fertility preservation with Seattle Reproductive Medicine. Next step was six rounds of TCHP chemotherapy spread out over three-week blocks at Katmai Oncology in the Providence Cancer Center. Two weeks after finishing my last round of chemo, I had two lumpectomies to remove tissue where the tumors had been. I followed my surgeries with 33-treatments of radiation with Advanced Oncology Associates. I had to continue a few more months on Herceptin and Perjetta for my Her2+ status to complete a full year. Post radiation I started on hormone suppression that I will likely be on for at least 5 years.
Through my experience in active treatment and now in the months since, I have developed a vocabulary and encyclopedia of terms, items, projects, organizations etc. that I have found helpful. I will share them here:
Organizations I’ve worked with:
- The Susan G. Komen Foundation
- The American Cancer Society
- Barbells for Boobs
- Boarding 4 Breast Cancer (B4BC)
- Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF)
- Young Survival Coalition (YSC)
- Let’s Beat Breast Cancer
- The Dempsey Center
- Casting for Recovery
Hunter’s Hero: My Mommy Has Breast Cancer – By: Shannon Pierce, a children’s book for helping kids understand their mother’s diagnosis.