Dear Jack

Theresa G

Active LifeList Participant

In the summer of 2021, I was looking forward to a new exciting chapter in my life. I work as a trauma therapist/Licensed Clinical social worker and was completing my EMDR certification, left my group practice and decided to start my own practice where I could still help underserved trauma survivors by taking Medicaid and sliding scale but also be able to make a higher income where I could work toward getting into a good financial place for the first time in my life, start chipping away at debt and begin building a life with my longtime partner, Justin. 

Then in August, I felt a twinge in my left breast and decided to check myself, finding a lump that everyone convinced me was just a cyst. Long story short I found a doctor that would listen to me and got an ultrasound and mammogram in one day upon visiting her. I was able to get scheduled for a biopsy but then that got delayed for weeks when my partner got COVID at work. By the end of September, I was able to receive a diagnosis of stage 3 grade 3 triple-negative breast cancer with lymph node involvement, which is a rare and highly aggressive, and more difficult to treat type of breast cancer due to the fact that it is hormone negative, therefore not responsive to newer hormone therapies and it spreads very quickly. I was told I would need to start chemotherapy and a newly approved immunotherapy immediately, followed by surgeries, and radiation, with the hope that I would continue immunotherapy for a year throughout all of this for as long as I could tolerate it to reduce reoccurrence and increase the success of treatment. 

I have truly been on an emotional rollercoaster, not knowing how to process this and spending the first months feeling really depressed and angry and scared. I am fighting the hardest and best ways I possibly can and am wishing/hoping that I can get through this with as much success as possible. It has been so hard but I just finished what I hope will be my last chemo before double mastectomy and radiation. I, unfortunately, cannot continue with immunotherapy due to the negative side effects it had on my liver and existing autoimmune issues but am hopeful I can beat this.

Theresa’s LifeList:

  1. Trip to Mexico

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