Being 23 and Told You Have Breast Cancer | MyBCTeam

Connect with others who understand.

sign up Log in
Resources
About MyBCTeam
Powered By

Being 23 and Told You Have Breast Cancer

Posted on October 23, 2016

by Justine, a MyBCTeam ambassador

“So the doctor just wanted to let you know about some support groups…”

That’s how I found out I had cancer on July 30, 2012, at approximately 9 a.m.

Just like most women, I found my lump by accident. However, one of the differences between myself and most women facing breast cancer is that I was 23 years old at the time, with no family history of any cancers on either my maternal or paternal side. I mean, what 23-year-old gets cancer?! Just like everyone else, I went in for an ultrasound (because my gynecologist was awesome and thorough) and a mammogram which all came back abnormal and resulted in a biopsy. As I waited for the results of my biopsy, I researched about the different types of breast cancer resources that are available out there. I just had a feeling that I had breast cancer. I guess sometimes your body just knows.

So let’s go back to that dreadful day. I received a call from my breast surgeon’s office, where I had scheduled an appointment the next day to talk about the results of my (at the time, hopefully benign) biopsy. I was told I should come in that day (rather than the next day) at any time to talk about my results. I was told I was the V.I.P. that day and to come in whenever I could. Essentially, I was being told (without being told how bad) that I had cancer. I was freaking out. I called my parents, who literally left work a minute after I touched base with both of them so that we could go to my breast surgeon’s office to find out, at this point, what we all knew. However, I was still trying to convince myself that my results were benign. Then I got a call from my gynecologist’s office. The receptionist, very sweetly informs me that, “So the doctor just wanted to let you know about some support groups.” I dropped to the floor and told the receptionist (very rudely, mind you) that I needed to go. There was no denying it now, I had cancer, I just didn’t know how bad it was.

I started to scream, and I just could not stop screaming. I was crying and screaming and wondering if all of this was real.

I was diagnosed with Stage 0 DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ), although I was later re-diagnosed as Stage I IDC (invasive ductal carcinoma) after my bilateral mastectomy. That time between talking to my breast surgeon and getting that call was the scariest of my life. Being told I had cancer was the hardest thing I have been told. I was so angry and felt so alone. I went back to one of those breast cancer support resources and utilized it throughout my treatment. It was comforting in that I was able to share my story with women who were going through the same thing that I was. It made me feel understood and that my emotions were important and similar to others.

I was unfortunate in that I did not find MyBCTeam until after I had almost completed treatment. However, I use this social network more now than I ever used the other breast cancer resource I initially used. MyBCTeam is user-friendly in that the mobile app allows me to update my own page, add and see who has added me to their team, and do all of this while on the go. I am a graduate student (going for my Master’s in psychology, then my Ph.D.) who is always extremely busy.

The MyBCTeam app allows me to remain engaged in a world (especially on bad days) that no one else can necessarily understand. Women with breast cancer typically say that they belong to a “club” that no one wants to be a part of. While we may not want to be a part of this club, we are and must deal with that. Now that I have completed surgery and treatment, I find that I am drawn to speaking to other women to help them through their own experiences. Providing support for other women helps me process all I have dealt with in the past year. Processing having had breast cancer is continual, and it does not end when treatment and surgery conclude. However, speaking about these feelings in the form of positive or negative posts really helps me get through.

My hope is to bring another face to breast cancer. While someone’s mom, aunt, or grandmother may be diagnosed with breast cancer, I want people to realize that young women can be victims too. I want people to see my face when they hear the words breast cancer. I also want younger women to realize that we can be resources too. Our stories matter, and only by making ourselves known can we bring awareness to that fact.

Posted on October 23, 2016
All updates must be accompanied by text or a picture.

Become a Subscriber

Get the latest articles about breast cancer sent to your inbox.

Related Articles

When you’ve received a new diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer — breast cancer that has spread ...

Metastatic Breast Cancer Diet: 5 Foods To Eat and 3 To Avoid

When you’ve received a new diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer — breast cancer that has spread ...
“Every time I eat, I wonder if what I am eating, or not eating, is feeding cancer cells. How does...

Diet for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: 6 Foods To Eat

“Every time I eat, I wonder if what I am eating, or not eating, is feeding cancer cells. How does...
Coffee is one of the most popular beverages worldwide. More than 30 percent of breast cancer surv...

Coffee and Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: 5 Effects To Know

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages worldwide. More than 30 percent of breast cancer surv...
Feelings of stress are common among people living with metastatic breast cancer.Managing stress c...

Can Stress Lead To Breast Cancer Spreading? 4 Tips To Reduce Stress

Feelings of stress are common among people living with metastatic breast cancer.Managing stress c...
Developing fluid buildup caused by lymphedema (tissue swelling) is common following lymph node re...

Tattoos After Lymph Node Removal: Are They Safe?

Developing fluid buildup caused by lymphedema (tissue swelling) is common following lymph node re...
Lately, I've found myself wondering exactly what it is that has kept pulling me back to MyBCTeam ...

Member Spotlight: Why I Keep Coming Back

Lately, I've found myself wondering exactly what it is that has kept pulling me back to MyBCTeam ...

Recent Articles

A new metastatic breast cancer diagnosis is overwhelming, but focusing on what’s in front of you ...

Back Pain After Chemo: Can Chemo Cause Sciatica?

A new metastatic breast cancer diagnosis is overwhelming, but focusing on what’s in front of you ...
If you recently received a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer (MBC), it’s natural to wonder wh...

New Treatments for Metastatic Breast Cancer: Extending Life

If you recently received a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer (MBC), it’s natural to wonder wh...
Metastatic breast cancer (MBC) most commonly spreads from the breast to the lungs, liver, bones, ...

What Is Progression-Free Survival in Metastatic Breast Cancer?

Metastatic breast cancer (MBC) most commonly spreads from the breast to the lungs, liver, bones, ...
A diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer is one of the most challenging experiences many people wi...

Newly Diagnosed With Metastatic Breast Cancer: What To Expect

A diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer is one of the most challenging experiences many people wi...
For anyone with a recent diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer (mBC), coping with the emotional a...

5 Tips for Moms With Metastatic Breast Cancer: Ways To Cope

For anyone with a recent diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer (mBC), coping with the emotional a...
Welcome to MyBCTeam — the place to connect with others living with breast cancer. This video wil...

Getting Started on MyBCTeam (VIDEO)

Welcome to MyBCTeam — the place to connect with others living with breast cancer. This video wil...
MyBCTeam My breast cancer Team

Thank you for subscribing!

Become a member to get even more:

sign up for free

close