Patient Blogs | Breast Cancer
The Day I Got My Diagnosis of Breast Cancer
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At the age of 32, I really thought I had endured my biggest battles. Growing up in an abusive household and having suffered physical, emotional, psychological, and sexual abuse as a child, I thought I had overcome everything, but I was wrong. I was about to enter the biggest battle of all, the battle for my life. 

I had just started a new relationship. It was fun, exciting, and busy. I was traveling, working full-time, and trying to stay in shape by exercising as often as possible. I had three dogs that required all my undivided attention whenever I was home. I was at a place in my life where I was happy and content. However, I was always tired. I had noticed that even though I was hiking and jogging three to five times a week, I had begun to gain weight. But because life was so busy, I just put it off and out of my mind. 

One day my boyfriend (who is now my husband) and I were being intimate when I noticed his face change to what I could only describe as puzzled. 

He said, “Give me your hand,” so I did. He placed my hand over the edge of my breast and said, “Feel that. Now do that on the other side,” (my other breast). So, I did, then I went back again. I sat up and I knew there was something wrong. 

I was scared. I knew that if it was something like cancer, my life would never be the same. After much hesitation, I finally made a doctor’s appointment. After all, I did need an annual physical and I had a great relationship with my doctor. 

At my physical, before my doctor began, I did let her know of my findings, and when she was conducting my breast exam, she assured me that I was young and that since I had no family history of breast cancer, it would most likely not be anything to worry about. She ordered a breast ultrasound and told me the clinic where the ultrasound would be done would call for scheduling. 

To my surprise, they called that very same day and arranged my ultrasound that very same week. Unfortunately, I’ve had several ultrasounds in the past related to an ovarian cyst, which always resulted in the technician letting me know that they will send the findings to the doctor at the end of the appointment. I was always told that they couldn’t tell me anything because the doctor had to review the findings at this point. So, I didn’t bother to ask when I would go in. But this was different, of course. This was my first breast ultrasound, as you have it, I wouldn’t have to ask that question. 

The technician concluded the ultrasound and let me know that she was going to get the breast radiologist to review the findings. When she returned, she said, “I’m sorry, it doesn’t look good.” I began to shake and nod my head. I asked, “What do you mean?” She then stated that my doctor will call me to further discuss the findings. I was in disbelief. I got dressed, and still in shock, I headed to my car and just sat there in silence. I tried calling my mom, my cousin, and I can’t recall who else. And then it just hit me: Fear. I was so scared. I began to cry hysterically. 

That weekend probably felt like the longest weekend of my life. First thing Monday morning, I did receive a call from my doctor’s office, and she let me know that the next step would be to get a mammogram and a biopsy done. The facility would call me to schedule that. Sure enough, I received a call immediately. I was scheduled for the mammogram and biopsy I believe the very next day. 

At the mammogram and biopsy procedure, the doctor explains everything in detail about what they will do and how to care for your incision after. It was all a blur. I just remember feeling scared. That very same day, as I was home recovering, I got a call from the facility where I had just had the mammogram and biopsy to let me know that I had to return the next day because they had found another mass on my other breast. 

I can’t describe the terror I was feeling. I just cried; I was not ready for what was to come. Early the next day, my mom and I headed to the medical facility again and another biopsy was performed. The doctor performing the biopsy held my hand and told me she would pray for me. 

As we were leaving the facility, I received a call from my doctor who asked me to come in. We headed straight to the doctor’s office, as we knew what was to come. There, she didn’t make us wait. She came in and broke the news. I had breast cancer. Stage III, grade III, ER+PR+Her2-. I didn’t understand what this all meant at the time, I was just scared. My doctor cried with us but assured me I was going to be referred to some of the best doctors. She was as graceful as she could be, given the circumstance. I trusted her and still do.  


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Photo Credit: Ezaka RAKOTONDRAMANANA / iStock via Getty Images Plus

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Melina Williams

Melina Williams

Diagnosed since 2018

Melina Williams was diagnosed in 2018 at the age of 32 with stage III, grade 3, HR+, PR+, HER2- breast cancer with no family history or genetic markers. Due to the aggressive cancer treatment, Williams lost function of her pancreas and her adrenal glands and now lives with type 1 diabetes and adrenal insufficiency. Originally from San Diego and now enjoying the Midwest with her husband and their four dogs, Williams works as an investigative professional. In her free time, she volunteers for breast cancer organizations such as the Young Survival Coalition (YSC Indy Face 2 Face) and as a treasurer for the Young Breast Cancer Project. Williams shares her health journey, pet photos, and more on Instagram. She’s passionate about giving back to the breast cancer community and hopes to inspire others with her journey.

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