Ms. April's story is lovingly sponsored by Chuck and Sally Hartman
The theme of A Calendar to Live By 2023 is In Her Own Words. All 12 women who grace its pages have honest, inspiring stories written in their own words to share with readers -- as well as words of advice for other young women newly diagnosed with breast cancer. Read on to get to know more about Ms. April 2023.
Ms. April 2023 | Diagnosed at 41 (2020)
I am a divorced, now engaged, mother of two teenage boys. I began my breast cancer journey with symptoms such as breast pain and nipple discharge from my left breast in June of 2020. I went to my gynecologist for these symptoms and that very day I was sent for a mammogram. Once I had the mammogram, they held me back for an ultrasound. Within a week I had a core biopsy and within a few more weeks I had a lumpectomy. After that, I began treatment using chemotherapy and immunotherapy. During scans in November of 2020, I found out that my cancer had spread to my bones in my ribs. It has spread over the last year and now is in my spine, clavicle, ribs, left hip, and pelvis. I also developed new breast tumors in my left breast. I began oral chemotherapy, Xeloda, and my cancer began to improve for a brief period of time. In December of 2021, I began to experience breathing problems and chest pain in addition to my worsened asthma symptoms. Soon after in January 2022, imaging showed that I had two nodules on my left lung. Further testing revealed that these nodules were cancerous I began a new chemotherapy treatment and breathing
treatments to shrink the nodules and improve my breathing. In May of 2022, I received a double mastectomy with tissue expanders and eventually permanent silicone implants. I have remained strong and steady throughout my journey thanks to support from my family, fiancé, friends, and Here for the Girls. I have set goals and I still
have hope. I am currently planning a wedding to marry a man who has been with me throughout my cancer journey. He has become my rock and constant support.
ADVICE: Give yourself grace and have patience with yourself as you start this new journey in your life.