HOW I FOUND OUT I HAD BREAST CANCER AT 22 | My Cancer Story

HOW I FOUND OUT I HAD BREAST CANCER AT 22 | My Cancer Story


Hi I’m Samantha and I have cancer. This
is gonna be so awkward. I am going to be explaining the story of how I found out
that I have breast cancer. I don’t know why I’m like really nervous right now.
I made this new channel. I don’t know if I’ll end up like using it fully, but I
made it so that I can document the process of all of this stuff that’s
gonna be happening to me and so that I can look back at it and also so that my
friends can see it because they have questions and then also if for some
reason other people are watching this and it helps them. People keep telling me
that I should write a blog, but I’m really bad at writing, and the one thing
that I’m worse at then writing is talking so it only makes sense that I’d
be doing this instead. Um anyway let’s let’s get right into it. So, it’s February
15th 2019. It’s Friday night, the day after Valentine’s Day, and everybody’s
over for dinner at my parents house: my sister and her husband and her two kids,
and my boyfriend, Gray, and my younger brother, Scott was home from college for
the weekend. And we were just having like a Valentine’s Day celebration because my
mom does that and it’s fun. Around 9 o’clock everybody left so only
Gray and I are left in the main family room and we just turn on Netflix. I’m
gonna try to make this not sound weird because it’s not weird at all actually
how it happened but whenever I say that Gray found the lump, he thinks it sounds
weird. You know I’m making it weird by explaining that. What happened was we
were sitting and watching Netflix and Gray was like behind me, he was hugging
me from behind, and he just started squeezing tighter and tighter. I don’t
remember why. Probably because he likes me or something…. And, I’m like “Okay
stop you’re hurting me,” because I just felt some pressure like in my left
breast and I was just like, “That’s not really anything weird cuz, I mean,
sometimes your breasts are sensitive. I feel it and I’m like, “Oh that’s like a
big bump and it’s kind of warm.” Then Gray is just like,
“What what’s going on? Is there something weird? You need to get that
checked out!” And I’m like, “Calm down, I’m fine.” I can’t really do anything on a
Friday night, like I’m not gonna like go to the emergency room because I just
found this, so I’m like, “If it’s still there on Monday morning then I’ll make a
doctor’s appointment.” So, at this point I’m not even thinking that I have cancer,
like it’s not even in my head at all because I’m 22 and I have like
no risk of it. It’s Monday morning and I remember being really excited because it
was Presidents Day so I had work off, so I didn’t have to figure out like
scheduling a doctor’s appointment and like getting off work and all that.
So I was like, “Great I’ll just go into the doctor today.”
So I go and she starts asking me all these regular questions that they
normally ask like family history of breast cancer and how long this bump has
been here and all that. And then, she goes to examine it, and she starts feeling
around, and she’s like, “Yeah you’ve got a lot of cysts in your breasts, and
it’s totally common for young people to have that and it doesn’t like increase
your risk for breast cancer at all and this is just like a totally normal thing.”
And she’s like feeling the bump and she’s like, “Oh so this is really
round and I can move it around with my finger or whatever and so this is just
probably a cyst.” But she takes kind of a second look at it and she goes, “You know,
it is like really warm. It could be an infection of the milk ducts.” That’s like
a very common thing that happens for women who are breastfeeding, and I’m not
breastfeeding so it’s weird that I would have it. And she’s like, “Did you come in
here because you were worried about cancer?” And I kind of looked at her and I
was like, alright I don’t really appreciate your tone.
You think I’m some 22 year old coming here panicked, worrying about cancer. I
was like, “No I came in here because I noticed this and it’s uncomfortable and
I’d like to do something to get rid of it.” And she was like, “Oh, well okay.” And in
the moment that satisfied me enough but like there’s so many more things I
go back and say to her now. She just is like, “Alright, so it’s probably just
an infection. Take ibuprofen to reduce the swelling and try to like apply some
warm compresses two to three times a day.” The main number one thing to get rid of
that kind of infection is to keep breastfeeding because the baby will
suck out the bacteria. Alright so, I don’t have a baby, so this isn’t gonna
work. She she told me to call her back on Friday and give her an update on how
things were going. I don’t think that it’s getting smaller at all, and she’s
like, “Okay well if you don’t if you really don’t notice anything different
then I’m just gonna go ahead and order the antibiotic for you.” So, here’s a
spoiler for you: amoxicillin doesn’t kill cancer. They call me on that next Monday
the 25th and they’re like, “Hey how’s the antibiotic going?” And I’m like, “Nothing’s
happening.” And they’re like, “Okay well it’s it’s for ten days so just keep
taking it.” So the next day, that Tuesday, they call me and they’re like, “So do you
still notice nothing?” And I’m like, “Yeah,” and they’re like, “Okay well we’ll order you
and ultrasound at the hospital.” And I’m like, “Okay that’s great,” but apparently
they don’t or something, and like they like put in the paperwork and it takes
forever. The hospital’s like, “Okay well the earliest we can do is Monday.” The
next Monday March 4th, I go into the room for the ultrasound and it’s the first time I’ve
ever had an ultrasound before and she’s like putting the gel on and moving around, and
she’s clicking things and taking pictures of stuff, and I have no idea
what any of it means. Then she’s like, “Okay the radiologist is gonna look at right
away and determine if we need to do anything else.”
So, the radiologist guy comes in and he’s like, “Hey I’ve never seen cancer in a 22
year old before so since it’s not that, these are all the other things that it
could be…. We’re gonna have you have an appointment with our breast surgeons.
This isn’t really urgent, like you can come back later and
do this at any point.” And I’m just kind of like, “Well I’m here today so like, can
I have the appointment today?” And they’re like, “Yeah so we’ll just like go down and
see if they can see you.” So, I go down to the breast surgeon person she just she’s
like, “Oh yeah there’s totally something.” And then she does an
ultrasound again, and she’s just like, “Yeah to be able to figure out more of
what it is, we need to do biopsy on it and there’s two different types of
biopsies that you can have you can have: one where we just get cells, and one
where we get tissue or something, and the one where we just get cells
from it is less invasive and you can just like go to work the next day and
nothing will be an issue, but the other one has a little bit more
restrictions, so I think we’re just probably gonna do the cells one because
that just seems easier for you.” It didn’t hurt like a ton, but I was just kind of
like, wow this actually like hurts cuz like she had like this needle
and she was just like going like this like multiple times to try to
like get stuff. And she’s like still going I’m just like, “Ahh.” She’s like, “It’ll
probably um cause some bruising.” At this point, I’m starting to get like a little
bit worried cuz nobody really has like a clear answer. Like, no one can look at it
and be like, “Hey this is what this is!” And I still don’t think it’s cancer, but I’m
kind of thinking this could be something that I have to get
removed and that’s kind of scary that I might have to like have a surgery
or something and I have no idea how any of this goes. Then she just tells me that
they’ll get the results of the biopsy in one or two days. The surgeon called me
back Tuesday, the next day, March 5th. She was like, “Hey, the biopsy came back with
atypical cells, so that means that we’re probably gonna have to get you to come
in and do a another biopsy.” Even at this point I’m like, “Okay, atypical cells. I
don’t really know what that means, but like, she didn’t say cancer.” So that
Wednesday morning, Gray took me to the hospital again. I just like go to the
surgeon place. She drew me a picture. And she was like, “This is
the breast and this is the milk duct and this is how
cells normally form and sometimes they start doing weird things and they start
like breaking out.” And she’s like, “So, basically there’s there’s like atypical
cells that could be cancerous cells or there’s this one type of atypical cell
that’s not cancer and that’s what this could be.” So I’m just
kind of like, “Okay so that’s probably what it is.”
But also that’s when it kind of hit me when she started explaining, that cuz
that’s obviously when she started to prepare me. Then she did the second
biopsy. She has to like numb the whole area and then she takes like this big
like gun thing that she said was kind of like when you get your ears pierced. And
it goes in and it makes like this horrible noise and goes *noise* and it
pulls out like a little like sample of tissue I guess. So that actually hurt
less than the one that was supposed to be the less invasive one, but the side
effects afterwards are just worse because I mean it obviously they
like made an incision so it causes way more bruising, and you’re not
supposed to lift things over ten pounds which is really stupid because, like, I
don’t know what what weighs ten pounds. This biopsy would take a little bit
longer to get the results. It could be like two to three days. But, since it was
Wednesday morning, they couldn’t have the results by Friday.
She said, “I’ll just make an appointment for you to come back on Friday.” So, I went
out into the waiting room because that’s where Gray was. So we got into the
elevator I think that’s when I cried. But it was so short. I just kind of
was overwhelmed just because of what they had done. Like, it didn’t hurt me or
anything. It was just the fact that like I had an incision and they
put a gun into me. So it was it was kind of a stupid thing to cry about. I
wake up on Thursday, and I work from home again because
there’s still like a ton of swelling. My mom calls me and she’s like, “Hey how do you
format stuff on Google Docs?” Steven, who’s my older brother, sent me a
resume, and he needs help editing his resume.” So I’m explaining all
this stuff about Google Docs to her. I’m like, “I really don’t care about any of
this because I’m trying to work.” Then the breast surgeon calls me and
she’s like, “Hey are you at work right now? Is this a good time to like discuss the
results with you?” and I was like, “Yeah working from home so like whatever,
you can tell me.” and she was like, “Okay so it does look like there were some
cancerous cells.” And I was like, “Oh.” And she was like, “Yeah so I’m really sorry,
but I figured that you wouldn’t want to wait till Friday to discuss this, so if
you want, you can come in later today.” She basically couldn’t tell me anything
more because I guess they’d have to run more tests. I had no idea how serious
it was. I’m just like, “Okay thanks.” I don’t know if you could say I was in
shock, but it was kind of more– I was just like, “this is just the way that it is,” and
I just immediately accepted it. I’m back on the phone call with my mom and she’s
like, “Okay so what’d she say?” And I was like, “Yeah so they found cancer,” and she
was like, “Well what else?” and I was like, “Well that’s all the information that
they have and they said that we can come in at 3:30.” And she’s like, “What do you
mean that’s all they told you?” She was just like, “Okay well are you coming here now?”
and I was like, “Well Gray has class so we can come there when I’m on my lunch
break,” and and she’s just like, “I think you should come here now,” and I’m just
like, “Well why don’t you just, like calm down and like I’ll just
come in an hour. Like, it’ll only be an hour from now.” And then I text Gray. I
just I just like casually send the text message, “Would you be able to come with
me to an appointment at 3:30 today? They found cancer.” He immediately calls me
and he’s like, “What what?” and I’m like, “Yeah so they I guess they got the
results early,” and he’s like, “Do you want me to come back?” and I’m like, “No you
can go to class. After class though, we should probably go home
because my mom wants me to come home.” And so Gray gets back from class. At
this point it hadn’t hit him yet, and he was just kind of like, “Is
everything okay?” Because like obviously I wasn’t an emotional mess or
anything. I was just kind of sitting there, no tears, I was just like, “Alright
this is how it’s happening.” Like, I cried more on the day when they did the
biopsy. My best friend, Kassie, I think she snapchatted me about how she had ordered
chicken wings, and she hadn’t eaten all of them and she packed up the rest in it
to go box, but she had accidentally left that to-go box at the restaurant. She was
like, “This is the worst day ever I can’t believe I did this. I can’t believe I
left my chicken wings at the restaurant,” And I’m just like, “Yeah that sucks.” So I responded back I was like, “Yeah me too, this is the worst day ever.” And she
was like, “Why did you leave your chicken wings?” and I’m like, “No, I found out that I
breast cancer,” and she’s like, “What?” And, looking back on that – that is like,
probably the worst way to tell somebody because she was in the middle of her
class and I’m just – like obviously I didn’t realize how much people actually
care about me. Obviously if my best friend told me that that they had cancer,
I would be like in shock and I would be sad, and if anyone in my family told me
that I would be like, “oh my gosh.” But, since it was happening to me I was just
kind of like, “Okay this is just me.” I don’t really care about myself as much
as any of these people so I didn’t even think about that cuz I was just thinking
about myself, and I wasn’t thinking about the fact that other people care
about me. So after I told her that, and she started just immediately
texting me, I was like okay I need… I need to figure out how to tell people
this in a better way. We went to the appointment
and my mom, my dad, and Gray came. And then the doctors like, “Hey we actually might
need to check something out on the ultrasound real quick.” She did an
ultrasound under my arm cuz she was looking at like the lymph nodes under
there and apparently that’s very common for cancer to spread to those.
She found two that looked strange to her, so she was like, “We’re gonna do we’re
gonna need to do a biopsy of those, and I was like, “ugh.” For me, that’s the
thing that hurts the most is the ultrasound under the arm. I don’t know if
it has to do with it just hurts when you’re pressing under the arm there, or
if it’s because of the cancer that’s in the lymph nodes there. So then after that
biopsy I went into the room and I found my parents and Gray and the doctor
there. And it was just silent in there when I walked in. The doctor came
in and she explained everything about what they knew. That’s when I I was kind
of just sitting there in that room like, just looking around at like people’s
facial expressions being like, wow this is really affecting all these
people. Gray is just holding my hand the whole time, and he says that’s
when it really sunk in to him because they they were going over how I was
gonna have to have chemotherapy for months and then I was gonna have to have
a double mastectomy, most likely. I haven’t had that yet so I don’t know if that’s
the way that we’re gonna go. And then radiation. She’s telling me, if you
need — if you get a mastectomy, you won’t be able to ever breastfeed your children. The chemotherapy can mess up your ovaries, you can go into menopause, you
might not ever be able to have children. And I’m kind of like — I never thought
about any of this at this point in my life because I’m 22 and I just
graduated college and I just started working at my first job. I was just like,
“Okay well I’m just gonna have to deal with this,” and so it was hard watching
the other peoples react in the room because I knew that they
cared and that this sucked for them. So then after that appointment I went to go
get frozen custard at Kohr Bros. Yeah that’s basically the story from when I
found my lump bump thingy to when I found out that that was cancer. And so
let me know if there’s more stuff you want to know about because I definitely
want to make a video about chemo. I actually did go through with freezing
some of my eggs and I want to make a video about that process because it’s
kind of funny. If you have questions, leave a comment down below, and like this
video, and subscribe because this is on YouTube and that’s what you do. And,
thanks for watching!

13 comments

  1. I've been watching your other channel for as long as I could remember. I hope you get better soon. You will be in my prayers. <3

  2. Thank goodness you got it early because I heard the longer you wait it gets worse where you can't treat it

  3. Hey Samantha, Suzanne sent me this link. I am rooting for you! I'm about to start retrieval and I want you to know that your courage to get it over with – and to survive – is really really inspiring. You and your fam are in my prayers every day!

  4. You told this story so well. So straightforward. It's the way I would feel and speak it. Wow. What amazing bad luck that you had this, at this age! It seems like more young people are getting cancer, or is it my imagination? I feel amazed I got to MY age, and I still haven't had any serious cancer, even tho I smoked heavy for years, (I loved smoking…) before quitting. Still. No cancer. I am so sorry you got this! Good luck. Stay strong. I will subscribe as I want to know how things go for you. God bless you!xxxxx

  5. I relate a lot to you. I had a small lump on the palm of my hand for years and it slowly got bigger until i finally realized it probably wasn't normal and showed my doctor who thought it was a cyst but because of where it was and how delicate the area was she sent me to a hand surgeon to get it removed. I had an ultrasound, MRI and an xray on it and they didn't know what it was but they cut it out anyway on the 20th of May this year (2019). Just like you they told me they were having trouble figuring out what it could be but the cells were very atypical (like I know what that means!). I just found out yesterday (finally) on the 9th of August that it was cancer. They don't know exactly what kind of sarcoma it is because it is so unusual even the expert oncologists don't know but THANKFULLY they know the tumour was low grade, slow growing, non-aggressive and not likely to spread so they don't think I'll need any chemo or radiation. In a couple weeks I will have another surgery to remove more of the surrounding tissue from where the tumour was so they can make sure there are no more cancer cells left and then I will probably have some scans done on the rest of my body to make sure it isn't anywhere else. I've held it together very well because I accepted it pretty instantly and in a way I think I knew the whole time, but watching my mum cry and everyone be so shocked and worried about me is hard and I don't know how to take it. I feel bad in a way because it's causing everyone so much pain and to see my boyfriend so down is weird and I hate it. Fingers crossed I'm cancer free! Also I'm 22! Hope everything goes/has gone well for you and you beat cancer's ass!

  6. Don't you just hate it when doctors can't give you a definite answer right away?! It's frustrating. I have numerous cysts in my breasts. They often become inflamed and big. Honestly my doctors don't know why I have them yet. 🤷🤦 Stupid boobs lol. Anyway, also it sucks when doctors only pay attention to your age because its like come-on just because someone is young doesn't mean they can't get Cancer or be really sick. #CancerCantWin #StayStrongSam

  7. So crazy how similar our stories are.. Glad you went through and got all those biopsies. I had something similar when I had a breast lump and talk about OW!! Lol, stay strong girl, we're so brave!! <3 <3

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