Breast Cancer changes you, and let the change be beautiful.
My name is Brittany Frank. I am 34 years old, and I was recently diagnosed with Stage 1b, Her2 Positive, Invasive Ductal Carcinoma breast cancer. I found a lump in my left breast on June 14th, 2018 while I was in the shower. I immediately scheduled a gynecologist appointment and my doctor said she thought it was a cyst because it was painful, movable and I had a prior history of ovarian cysts. While that made sense to me at that time it was still heavy in the back of my mind, so I ultimately scheduled a mammogram and ultrasound two weeks later. As I sat with the radiologist at Memorial Herman Hospital, I quickly realized it was not just a simple cyst. Instead of one lump the ultrasound revealed 2 lumps on the left breast and 1 lump on my left lymph node. On July 3rd, following additional testing, it was confirmed that I have triple positive Her2 cancer which is an aggressive form of Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. I have a total of 5 cancerous spots in my left breast and my axilla lymph nodes.
I am currently receiving treatment at MD Anderson in the medical center where I just completed four of the six rounds of chemotherapy. In December, I will have a mastectomy of the left breast followed by six weeks of radiation beginning in January. Final reconstruction will of both breasts will concur at the end of 2019. I am happy to report that currently all five of my cancerous spots are shrinking, and I hope to be in full remission before the end of 2019!
This was definitely not something I thought I would be dealing with at my age, but I have learned a lot from my experience thus far, most importantly: stay positive, find your bigger purpose, and have Faith. I knew I could not change the situation, but I wanted to have a positive outlook as best quoted by Winston Churchill, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” For me, finding a bigger purpose has given me the confidence to share my story and to spread awareness in a positive light to other women especially those who are my age. As women we need to listen to our bodies, do self-exams regularly even at a young age, and if in doubt check it out. Early detection is key to survival. Lastly, having Faith has been my number one constant and rock in my life to keep me moving forward each day.
-Breast Cancer changes you, and let the change be beautiful.
Brittany’s self awareness and her advocacy for her own health has changed the path that her Breast Cancer story has taken. Do the same for yourself, request an appointment for your well woman exam today.