Shayna was just 25 years old when she found out she had triple negative breast cancer. Now, she wants other young women to know about the warning signs.
I had a gut feeling something was wrong
I was misdiagnosed in October 2019. After having an ultrasound and biopsy, I was told that the lump I had found was fibrocystic tissue (benign). However, my gut instinct didn’t sit well with this and the ‘lump’ was growing by the day.
Thankfully, I was referred to a breast cancer specialist. She requested another biopsy and mammogram. One week later, I was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer. The microscopy report mentioned the tumour is a high grade invasive ductal carcinoma.
I felt so numb
The specialist held my hand as she told me the news. As the words came out of her mouth, I just sat there and stared at her. I felt so numb. I had nothing to say.
My first word was, ‘ok’.
Obviously, nothing was ok about the situation – but, as I looked over at my mum, I just knew I had no choice but to fight hard.
Treatment is awful, but my family are helping
My life has been turned upside down since I was diagnosed. The side effects, both mental and physical, have taken a toll on my emotions. It’s like a whole new world. But I have the most supportive family, and I know that’s why I will keep fighting.
I went through four rounds of AC chemotherapy treatment and 12 weekly rounds of taxol, which was hell. On top of that, I had to put everything on hold and completely change the way I lived. I went chemical free in my house - from cleaning products to body wash - and I take natural supplements and oils, which have been HUGE benefits for me.
I want other young women to know about the signs
After finishing my six months of chemotherapy - which was not a great experience - I have learnt so many positives things. I now listen to my body and provide it with love and care as it has been fighting so hard. This is especially important as I still have radiotherapy to go.
Being diagnosed at any age is scary, but being 25 I have dreams of one day becoming a mother and a wife, and of having my own family. That’s something that keeps me driven.
When I first felt the lump, I thought to myself, ‘I’m only 25 years old, it can’t be cancer’. So please, if you feel a gut instinct, seek professional advice. And if you’re still not happy, seek a second opinion.
And if you do end up in this situation, stay positive. Do everything you can to help heal your body in the meantime and remember to be kind to yourself. Your mind is the most powerful tool that you have.
If you have concerns about breast cancer, be sure to familiarise yourself with the signs and symptoms.