It was as bright, sunny and warm morning heading south on interstate 85 on my way to see a customer in Union City, having just left one of my physician offices when my phone rang, for some unknown reason I glanced at the time 10:12. Oops I am running late for my 10:30 appointment. It was Dr. Fine’s nurse practioner Julie Pryor. For the life of me, I cannot tell you her exact words because I stopped listening after she said, “yes, the mass is malignant”. I said, I am sorry your going to have to slow down talking because I think I just heard you tell me I have CANCER… that’s when I am sure I heard it… yep it was the sound of the earth cracking! I remember vaguely asking her, “what do you want me to do with that information?” and then I dont remember much after that but some how I ended up in an empty parking lot wondering what just happened! His nurse practioner would not give me any details, only said that the mass was malignant and that I had to come in right away.
How did this happen…? I am a healthy 37 year old hispanic woman in the prime of my life with no family history of gynecological cancers. My only real assesment of how I got cancer… was it “spontaneous” or was it years of living in an emotionally unhealthy and stressful situation!
I spent that night all alone, in complete darkness both physically and mentally. I had only shared the news with my parents brother and my manager Melodie. It was an out of body experience, like the slow motion that occurs right before a car accident. It didnt feel real to me, like it was happening to someone else and all I realize it was my diagnosis and all that kept replaying in my head was that I was going to die and cancer would kill me.
DIAGNOSIS: Triple Positive Breast Cancer: Prog+, Estog+ and Her-2+ , Invasive Ductual Carcinoma with a 3cm tumor growing in my breast. BRACA-1 and BRACA 2 Negative.
Not all breast cancers are the same. HER2+ breast cancer cells have more HER2 receptors (a particular protein found on the surface of cells) than normal breast cells.
- Having too many HER2 receptors may make the cancer cells grow and divide faster, creating more HER2+ cancer cells
- HER2+ breast cancer is considered aggressive because it grows and spreads quickly