How Triple Negative Breast Cancer Impacts a Life
Cecile’s triple negative breast cancer story in her own words:
It’s April 6th, 2018, my 58th birthday. Every year I would have a physical. That day, I did a self-breast exam and found a pin head size lump on my right breast. I really didn’t think much of it, but it was different because it rolled around under my skin when I touched it. I got to the doctor a few days later for my physical and was getting ready to leave when I said to my doctor, “by the way I have this little bump on my breast”. The doctor examined me and asked if it hurt. I said, “no!!” however, I believed he knew what it was. I immediately had to have a mammogram and a biopsy shortly thereafter.
On April 16th. 2018, I received that dreaded phone call that said I have breast cancer. I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. The shock was overwhelming, I dropped the phone and grabbed my stomach as if my heart had dropped. After a few days of processing that information and getting to a place of acceptance, I told my family, met with my team of doctors, and so my process began. Before the diagnosis, I had already been through some really traumatic life experiences. I had major surgery, experienced the death of my son, having to raise my young granddaughter, getting hurt on my job, and then no longer having the ability to work on that job after 17 years. So, in 2016 I decided to go to college.
I have always been the person who encouraged others to move through whatever may be holding them back from achieving their goals. I wanted a degree in community social services because I love helping people. The diagnosis changed my life. The energy I gave to others, I needed so badly for myself now. I had to quit school and start my treatments. With chemotherapy, surgery and radiation, I was too sick to continue school. Thankfully, I had a network of friends, family and strangers who were willing to help me.
In 2018, I found United Breast Cancer Foundation. I received an individual grant that paid my rent for a month. It is very difficult to go through treatments and have to worry about making it financially for that month. UBCF and the donors who give to help make someone/my life better helped to lighten the load of worry and fear. For that I am so grateful to UBCF and the donor’s who support us with breast cancer. In August of 2020, my scans were clear. I’m a survivor!! More kindness was shown to me and my granddaughter in 2021 from UBCF, who was so nice and helpful in their services. A hug and a big thank you to all the donors who contributed with kindness. Most appreciated.
– Cecile and Akiyah.