About The Author: My name is Koreen and I am a wife to an amazing husband and momma to a beautiful 2-year-old little girl and a handsome 6-week-old little boy. We recently moved back to our home state and I have to say - there is no place like home. I love working out, reading and being with my family every single chance I can get.
Discovering The Cancer
While we all thought 2020 was difficult my family and I had no idea what was in store for us. Around the beginning of January 2021, I was 30-weeks pregnant and enjoying life! I had woken up one morning to a very full and inflamed breast. I ignored it for a few weeks - being pregnant I figured it was mastitis and I had an appointment with my doctor for a check-up and figured I'd just mention it to her then. My doctor agreed and we treated it as mastitis - I was given an antibiotic to help kick it in the butt. After a few days of the pill not working I called her and she switched me to something “heavier.” She scheduled a follow-up appointment with me four days later. The appointment came with no change in my breast. She got a second opinion and said “Koreen, we need to get you into a surgeon. I worry that this might be more.” I don't remember everything she said but she said the word cancer and my world stopped.
Starting Chemotherapy After Giving Birth
I got scheduled for a biopsy the following day and on Monday, January 25, 2021, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Triple Negative Inflammatory Breast Cancer. The next day I went in to talk about how we were going to get my baby out of me and then I met with my oncologist that same day to talk about treatment. Wednesday the 27th I went into the hospital to get induced. On Thursday, January 28th I delivered a beautiful and perfectly healthy baby boy. The following Wednesday I got my port inserted and started day 1 of chemotherapy.
I think it's safe to say that my head still hasn't fully wrapped around the idea that I have cancer. I mean anyone who is diagnosed, with no family history and at a young age, could say they never in a million years would picture this to happen to them. There are days I am still in shock that I am battling this. However, I have great faith that God has a plan for me, and whatever that may be He has me wrapped in His arms and telling me I don't need to worry about anything.
Tips For Going Through Breast Cancer Treatment
1) Faith is my biggest tip. I have a very strong faith and if it's possible my faith became even stronger the day I was diagnosed. I can’t question why this happened to me or complain. It happened and now I have to deal with this journey.
2) Positivity is my next tip. While I like to think of myself as a very positive person before cancer - cancer has given me even more reason to be positive and work on my mental health. Your brain is SO strong and if you’re constantly down you’re only hurting yourself more. Smiling and seeing the GOOD in all of this will really help. It's crazy that such an awful battle can change your world around for the better if you let it.
3) Support. I am not good at this, but I am trying to get better. Letting people help you and care for you. Find a good support system, whether it be friends or family, and hang onto them with all that you have. Let them help you (don't be stubborn like me)!!! People want to help and you need to let them. This is hard and it will be even harder if you try to do everything yourself.
4) It's okay to not be okay. Find that person or persons where you can open up to and be vulnerable with. You will need it. You will have (many) days where you just break AND THAT'S OKAY! Remember we are all human and these are BIG emotions that we are dealing with. Don't ever feel like you have to hold it in and pretend that everything is okay.
If you are looking for more resources and support around breast cancer, check out our other blogs:
What are some other tips you have for going through breast cancer treatment while pregnant? Let us know in the comments. We love hearing from our community members! If you have any further questions, feel free to contact us for more information.