Today’s post is from Miya Goodrich-Phillips. A writer and stay-at-home-wife, a breast cancer diagnosis disrupted this newlywed’s plans for a baby. She’s been chronicling her journey to motherhood and shares with us what has changed in her life since being diagnosed two-and-a-half years ago. Read and share.
Tell us about your diagnosis.
I found a lump in my right breast. I had just checked myself a month before and there was nothing there. It kinda came out of nowhere and grew pretty quick. The official diagnosis was stage 2, grade 3 ER/PR+, HER-2 negative with 2/10 lymph nodes.
Aggressive cancers in young women tend to be fast growing. What was your reaction when you learned it was cancer?
I had to wait almost a week for the results of the biopsy, so during that time I tried to prepare myself for bad news. Nothing can prepare you for those words, “You have cancer.” I was shocked. I couldn’t breathe. I was scared. I was sad. I didn’t feel too certain about anything anymore.
What kind of treatment options were presented?
Because I tested negative for the BRCA gene mutation, I decided to have a single radical mastectomy and a total of ten lymph nodes were removed. I followed that surgery with chemotherapy, radiation, and two reconstructive surgeries. I also have to take Tamoxifen for 10 years.
What kind of challenges have you faced with either your surgery or ongoing treatment?
I’ve been pretty vocal about my fertility issues. That’s truthfully been the biggest problem for me. Breast cancer has put many restrictions on my ability to conceive a baby. Other than that, I have some trauma on my ribs from all my surgeries, it flares up now and again and can get very sore and uncomfortable. I also can’t move my right arm as well as I used to.
How has having breast cancer changed you?
The way I look at life has completely changed. All my priorities changed in an instant. I was depressed most of my twenties and allowed that to become my identity. A lot of my personal relationships suffered because of it. Having a life threatening illness lifted that fog and weight off of my shoulders. I feel I was given a second chance at life. I’m grateful to be here and thankful everyday. I have renewed relationships with my parents and have a wonderful marriage now! Adversity brought me to a higher sense of self and led me to my spiritual life.
Do you foresee any roadblocks?
Currently, the only road block for me is having to wait to have children. I’m hoping that everything goes well with the embryos we froze.
You can follow Miya’s journey to becoming a mom after breast cancer at Baby After Cancer.