By MiSean Neal
It all started with a decision. The end of 2019 I made a decision to use more non-toxic products including deodorant, lotions, etc. A few weeks after making the transition, I noticed a huge lump under my armpit. It was completely painless, and it moved freely, so I didn’t think much more of it. 3 months later, I came down with a cold, and that same lump became fixated to my armpit fold, and was EXTREMELY painful. I made an appointment with my primary care doctor, and by the time I got to my appointment, the lump started moving freely again, and the pain was completely gone. She determined it was probably from me being sick, but she did a breast exam because my right breast looked and felt a little swollen. An ultrasound was recommended, and sure enough, there were two lumps…the one I felt in my armpit and another in my right breast.
I had a breast biopsy done, and 2 days after my 30th birthday, I got the call that it was indeed cancer. The tears began to fall as my doctor was talking. “God, why me,” was the question in my head. After praying and processing for 24 hours I got a sense of comfort. I felt that I would make it through this journey just fine. At my 30th birthday dinner, I told my family the news, and I made sure they were on the same page as me. “I’m already a survivor and I only want positive vibes around me.” This was super important to me, as I believe in the power of manifestation. And they complied. After several tests, and doctor appointments, I learned the full diagnosis which was Stage 3 Triple Negative Breast Cancer, I was BRCA 1 Positive, and we went over my treatment plan. It was a little intimidating, but I already believed that I was a survivor. With everyone on the same page, I cut most of my hair off, went public about my diagnosis, and took this journey by the reigns.
After enduring 5 month of Chemotherapy (like a Boss if I may add), and sharing my journey along the way, I had a double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction, 28 Radiation treatments, and 9 cycles of Immunotherapy. Yes, it’s A LOT!!! But the most import thing is I’M OFFICIALLY AT STAGE 0!! God is amazing! I’m currently healing from my 2nd reconstruction surgery, and focusing on healing…mind, body, and spirit.
This journey is life changing, and although it’s not the ideal growth process, I’m loving the woman I’m becoming through this. If I could give a word of advice, I would say don’t be afraid to get checked, and don’t be afraid to be loud about what you’re going through. Not only can it save your life, but you don’t know who needs to hear your story along the way.