Dear Jack


Active LifeList Participant

A day after my 28th birthday I got an ultrasound of a lump I found on my breast in November of 2022. After the ultrasound they told me I needed a biopsy, but I’d have to wait more than three weeks for one. These three weeks felt like the longest of my life. On December 29th of 2022,  I got the biopsy, and on January 3rd of 2023 I got a call that I had cancer. Before getting diagnosed, I was planning on finishing my schooling to become an RN, get married to my fiance and start a family. Since January of 2023, I have had to decline my offer into the LPN-RN program, and say goodbye to this plan (at least for now). I also found out I have a BRCA 1 mutation, and that my cancer spread to one lymph node. I have gone through six rounds of chemo, three surgeries including a double mastectomy, 25 rounds of radiation, estrogen suppression therapy, endocrine therapy, and am now doing targeted chemo. I will need to do 14 rounds before doing any more reconstruction/surgeries and am currently disfigured as I have one flat side and one side with an expander.

Before cancer, I worked as a newly licensed nurse for about a year until I was unable to work to do side effects of chemotherapy and surgery. Since I am a nurse, I did not feel comfortable working with “chemo brain” as well as the rest of the side effects that I have endured. Since starting my new chemo, I have had minimal side effects but am still at a higher risk of getting sick while working, and get tired very easily. Because of this, I only work when I feel up to it, and if my work allows, which has been minimal hours. I am hoping by the end of 2024 I can truly start taking my life back.

Michelle’s LifeList:

  1. A trip to visit her 92 year old grandma in Canada

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