Maggie wrote this after she started her first chemo treatment in 2014. With her mom standing by her side she has been able to funnel her spirit and determination in order to help other cancer patients through the roughest time of their lives.
my name is
...and this is my story. Since I can remember I played sports, but my top two were softball and basketball. I attended Millcreek High School in Gwinnett Country where I decided I was going to dominate in softball. As a junior I accepted a scholarship at Georgia College and State University and I gave up basketball and focused on softball. After high school I became a GC&SC Bobcat. I have always been an active, outgoing, and determined athlete.
I have carried the same drive and determination into all aspects of my life, always expecting more from myself. After college, I was beginning to develop post athletic body (gaining weight). Two years ago I started on a lifestyle change journey. I went back to what I use to do; run, work out and enjoy playing sports. After two years of healthy eating and exercise it has set me in a new direction. I have inspired many others to do the same.
Then in 2013 I discovered a mass on my breast. After three months and three different doctors telling me that they were 99% sure the lump was just a fibroid, I decided to get the lump removed and biopsied. Who wants something in their body that is not necessary. On December 3, 2013 the day after my mass was removed, I receive a phone call from my surgeon. A phone call that no one is prepared for, because no one thinks it will happen to them. That was the day I found out I have breast cancer, and I needed to come in for more testing. After two to three doctors appointments a week I decided to have a double bilateral mastectomy which was scheduled for January 6, 2014.
To my surprise on Christmas my mom gave the family a gift. I was asked to open it. As I slowly opened the box wondering what it could be, thinking Mom had not asked for my input this Christmas, I had no idea what was in this box. I opened the top and inside was a box full of Team Maggie's Dream teal in color tee shirts made for the family and close friends.
On Jan 6, 2014 I went in for my Mastectomy. The test results from the surgery showed there was no more cancer the surgeon had removed all the cancer in the first surgery. The lymph nodes they removed were found to be negative. My tumor was her2 negative, estrogen positive, and progesterone negative. My BRAC 1 and 2 came back negative also. With all this good news I was hopeful I would now move on with my life. But to my surprise due to my age, the size of the tumor and the protein markers being on the high side I was in for the long haul. I was told I would need 4 rounds of chemo, no radiation, and to take tamoxifen for 5+ years.
Once again I found myself in more doctors appointments, but this time not for cancer treatment. I was sent by my oncologist to see a reproductive biologist. I found myself questioning everything, but I am so thankful that my oncologist recommended this to me before chemo.
I went through an expensive procedure that will harvest my eggs until I am ready to use them, since chemo reduces your egg production or can even eliminate them all together. You see the thing I am up against is there is very little data on the prognosis with or with out chemo or the chances of having a family after chemo or when or if it is safe to try.
The chances of getting Breast Cancer in your 20's is less than 1% according to the American Cancer Society. It seems to be increasing but there is no data to support that. Breast Cancer usually strikes the 50's age group and older so I am sad to say but only time will produce the data which will come from those of us in our 20's and 30's that are going through Breast Cancer now. I pray I can help others by bringing awareness to the youth to be proactive if they discover a lump to go to a doctor, request testing until they know for certain whether they have cancer or a fibroid tumor. Never let a doctor tell you that because you are young it's only a fibroid and don't worry. If the doctor says come back in a few months demand testing now. Act Now!
I am writing this as I sit here in a room filled with cancer patients in chairs lined up against the wall receiving their Chemo treatments. I am receiving my first treatment.
My goal is to help bring awareness to young adults of the importance of being proactive and pushing for testing when they find a mass.