_MG_6144 _MG_5897

My name is Chandra.

I am married to my high school sweetheart and we have been blessed with a beautiful daughter after years of struggling to get pregnant. She is four and is a bundle of energy and brings pure joy to our lives.  At age 26, early 2012, I was prompted to do  my very first “self check”.  Surprisingly, I found a tiny lump. I worried about it for about a month, hoping it would just go away, and then went in to see my doctor about it. Each doctor I was referred to was convinced it wasn’t anything, but they had to take precautions.

When my biopsy results came back, the doctors were floored.  It was indeed breast cancer.  I have absolutely no family history of it and I am so young. I had just finished breast feeding my daughter a couple years prior.

I had everything good going for me, but cancer doesn’t discriminate.

I underwent a double mastectomy and 4 months of chemotherapy and received a clear bill of health in December 2012. I was able to finish my reconstruction by February of 2013. I went on with my life and ate healthier to try to prevent any other health problems.

In February 2014 I felt something near the surgery site but it felt a little different that what I had found first time. I talked to my oncologist and she said there’s a good chance it’s just scar tissue that was building up since it was near the surgery line. I felt confident it wasn’t anything, but she got a biopsy just to be safe.

A couple days later I received a call from her saying it actually was cancer again. I was in shock, again. She assured me it would be ok and we would take care of it. I had surgery the following week and then was treated with radiation therapy for 6 weeks. I just finished a couple weeks ago. I am going to be on an anti-cancer medicine for 10 years that will help prevent a recurrence.

Through this journey, I have been molded into the person I am today. I have been humbled and have a true appreciation for beauty and what really matters in life. This trial has allowed me to experience things I would have never experienced without going through the pain. My family and I have grown so close together through this trial and I wouldn’t take it back if I could.

I believe trials make us stronger and I am just grateful it wasn’t one of my family members going through it.