My name is Alexandra Alexandre.
I can recall a moment, where after explaining to a doctor how anxious I was about checking my breast each month, I was told, “treatment has come a long way and that if breast cancer is determined early it doesn’t have to be terminal.” Although, the anxiety never left, I continued with my routine checks. Shortly after meeting with the doctor, I found a lump in my right breast. It wasn’t much later that I was diagnosed with Stage IA Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.
The diagnosis, however, did not come easy. Before, getting a prescription for a mammogram, I met with a doctor who was completely dismissive and called my lump a “bone” because of no previous family history. Additionally, because of my age, he did not believe that my concern warranted a mammogram and told me that I was being anxious about nothing. Thank God I decided to get a second opinion – it proved to be lifesaving.
My diagnosis brought a flood of emotions. I was distraught, terrified, and confused. I’m only 34-years-old, married with two young beautiful children, and I want to be here to watch my children grow and flourish. Why was this happening to me? I can’t answer this question, but through faith and with lots of support I have been able to undergo a right mastectomy and six weeks of radiation. This road is not easy, but many have traveled and have endured and so can I.
I am proud to say that I have been a survivor for four months. I have learned so much about myself and found new purpose of life. Although this journey is still very new to me, I have a responsibility to educate other women about the importance of self-breast examination (especially young women) and support others that are fighting the good fight!