Hi, my name is Angela Duncan. I'm 33 years old, a mother, and just recently...a newlywed. If you asked me 4 years ago if I thought I’d ever get married and if I’d be able to be a mother, I would have said “no way.” Sure, I had the dreams any young girl had of wearing a big white wedding dress and one day rocking a baby to sleep but those dreams disappeared as soon as my doctor said “you have cancer,”
At the age of 29, I was diagnosed with stage 2, Triple Negative Invasive Carcinoma. “Triple-negative breast cancer refers to any breast cancer that does not express the genes for estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) or Her2/neu.”
I had never checked myself for lumps. Heck, I was too young to get cancer, right?
Luckily, while talking on the phone one evening, I noticed a lump in between my right breast and the inside of my armpit. I immediately had the lump checked by my doctors who told me not to be concerned. They said that it was probably just a fibroadenoma and not to worry.
Really? Wow. It’s a good thing that I persisted and made an appointment with a breast surgeon to have it biopsied. The results were shocking to say the least, but persistence saved my life. I had to go through surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, and I even had my eggs harvested.
The journey itself was a struggle, but I fought the fight and I’m a better person for going through it. I now have yearly MRIs until I pass the reoccurrence stage, which is 3-5 years. In 2011, I gave birth to a healthy baby boy and in August of this year, I tied the knot and got married.
It's ironic how something so evil can turn your life around instantly to make you appreciate every aspect of life. I went from being sad, insecure, and scared to someone who is ready for whatever life has in store. I was given a chance to have my childhood dreams come true. I consider my son, Tyler, my miracle baby and he’s given me the best job in the world, being his mom.
Unfortunately, most of us know someone who has been touched by cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, in Florida, one in eight women will develop breast cancer during her lifetime. Florida also ranks second in the nation for the number of new cases each year and third in the number of breast cancer related deaths. These statistics are alarming and overwhelming.
It's time to help change these numbers and to "Put On Your Pink Bra" with the American Cancer Society at this year’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk.
On October 20th, friends and families are wearing their pink bras and walking together to honor breast cancer survivors, remember those we have lost to this disease, and raise funds and awareness to help end it forever. There is still time to form a team and/or make a donation on their website. http://www.putonyourpinkbra.com/pasco