Shauna Wears Pink

I will never forget the day my doctor uttered those horrifying words “I am sorry to tell you, but that is a cancer tumor that you have in your left breast”. I was 33 years old, and my life changed forever. I invite you to read my story, learn from it and hopefully be inspired to reach out to other young women living with and beyond breast cancer.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Mobilizing for Battle:

After receiving my diagnosis, my body and mind seemed to mobilize for battle. My days became a world-wind of doctor appointments. The whole thing seemed to almost take on a life of its own. After receiving the biopsy results we quickly met with an oncologist from the recommended group to find out my destiny. We discussed whether I would need a mastectomy or whether I could get away with a lumpectomy (just removing the tumor and not my entire breast). After looking me over he thought I would do well with a lumpectomy. I was all for retaining as much of my body as possible. He confirmed that I would need to undergo 6-8 months of chemotherapy followed by 6-8 weeks of radiation treatment to the effected breast. In addition, I would need to take a drug called tamoxifen for 5 years that would fight the cancer causing agents in the estrogen that my body naturally produces. He called it hormone therapy. He promised that I would be able to continue to work full time throughout the chemotherapy which he would administer on Friday afternoons (every three weeks) along with a hefty dose of anti-nausea medicine, steroids and a whole host of other drugs to counter-act the side-effects of the chemotherapy. He said that he had a drug to counter-act every side effect of chemotherapy, except one. I would loose my hair, all of it, within 2 weeks of my first treatment. In addition, I would likely stop ovulating maybe permanently. Even if my cycle came back for a few years, it was certain I would go into early menopause probably before the age of 40. Worst of all, I could not try to get pregnant for at least 5 years after I finished all my treatements. My husband and I had always planned to have at least one more child and in fact had planned to try for a second this year, so this last piece of information was particularly devastating to me. All I could ask myself was how could this be? My mind went into overdrive. I knew that there had been advances in the last few years regarding fertility treatments for cancer patients. I just knew I had heard that someplace, so I immediately went to work to figure out what could be done to preserve my ability to have another child. Something inside me refused to take no for an answer. So I prepared for battle..... not just to save my life but to save the lives of my unborn children.


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