Community Member Spotlight: Meet Laura S.!
Last updated: April 2022
We sat down with one of our community members, Laura S., and she shared her journey with being diagnosed with MBC and finding a sense of belonging within the AdvancedBreastCancer.net community. Read her story.
How & when were you diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer?
Well, I was badly diagnosed in 2017. Back then I was breastfeeding and felt a lump on my left breast and after talking to my doctor, I did some ecos and mammogram, but “it’s not cancer”, they said. Your body will absorb it, but nothing became everything I was afraid of.
After this, I tried to shut down that voice that said it’s worse than they say. In 2018, a year had gone by and I was with child. 1 month before Christmas, I had a miscarriage and the lump became bigger. I talked to my doctor, and she said that I should rest and in a few months, I would do some checkups, my only symptom was the lump.
The day the checkups came, was July,15th 2019, the day my old self died. I knew that they would confirm what I already knew because we can tell we can silence the voice, but we can tell. I told the doctor, where the problem was and the next day all my exams were ready for my doctor. I faced reading the results and the look, oh the look, I remember having to decide things in seconds.
I was still accepting the situation and deciding where to go for the treatments, when, where, and how. Pet scans, biopsy. I remember leaving the doctor's office and bumping into my nurse and she said how bad? It’s bad. "What do you need?" she said. I needed a place to cry and I cried for about 5 minutes and then cleaned all the tears and took a big breath and went for lunch with my husband.
On my way to meet him, I was thinking about how can I launch such a bomb and how I would react but my way of dealing helped him and others to deal with it. It was the beginning of a war, today I and my “breast” friend are really tight.
What type of breast cancer do you have?
Initially, it was an invasive carcinoma in situ HER2- but soon we located tumor cells near my sentinel node and suspicious lesion’s on my lungs; they are being monitored, because they are very small and my mastectomy became a modified radical mastectomy and more cancer cells were detected in my axillar lymph nodes.
What information/support was most helpful for you when you were newly diagnosed?
All the information about treatments and secondary effects, survival rates. The clinical information was what helped me to make decisions.
What's your favorite part about AdvancedBreastCancer.net?
The fact that I am not alone. I know that when my people can’t help me or understand what I am going through, I can go to the page or your Instagram and feel rest assured that all is normal and valid, despite the bomb that hit me. I have made some friends through all this process and the most important thing. I got to help others and that gave me a purpose.
How has online support helped you?
I guess the online support helped me deal with the situation because I could find some answers and ways of coping with the secondary effects. It might feel strange, but it gave me a sense of belonging. Talking about it helped me a lot, so thank you for this and for existing and connecting people across the globe. I have pink sisters from down under and another is Swiss. It’s kind of a sisterhood of pink.
Have you been successful in getting financial assistance to help with your medical costs?