"I felt very disconnected from my body, I was numb, I couldn't really speak, all I knew was at 38 years old and I had breast cancer."
It all started when I fell in my bathtub a week before Christmas 2015. In the days that followed, I started to experience an uncomfortable pain on that side, particularly in my breast and underarm. A couple of nights later, while taking a shower, I performed a self-exam and felt a lump. My stomach dropped, my heart sank, I tried so very hard to convince myself it was nothing. Looking back, I realize at that moment I knew.
On January 12, 2016, I walked into the doctor’s office apprehensive. She didn’t seem too concerned because of my age (38) and no one in my family has had cancer. However, she suggested I have a mammogram and ultrasound just to be on the safe side. Three days later I went to Brigham and Women’s hospital for an appointment. The nurse came in after the ultrasound and reported that they had found an “abnormal mass” and they ordered a biopsy.
January 22, 2016, the day my life changed forever. At 2:30 pm my cell phone rang, the screen read “Unknown”. My hands were shaking as I casually said hello. It was my Gynecologist. She asked how I was and I said ok, she then told me she had my biopsy results. I could tell by the tone in her voice that it wasn’t good news. She very softly and almost hesitantly told me “Alyssa, you have Breast Cancer”. As she was speaking the only thing I could hear was my internal thoughts saying “You have Cancer” over and over. Thinking back, it all feels surreal, like a bad dream I was hoping to wake up from. I felt very disconnected from my body, I was numb, I couldn’t really speak, all I knew was at 38 years old and I had breast cancer.