Type of Breast Cancer: Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Estrogen ER-positive Stage 3A
Year of Diagnosis: 2013
Number of years as a survivor: 5
Relationship to Susan G Komen: Race Participant; Komen Ambassador / Speaker
My name is Terry-Ann Ramjus, I was diagnosed with stage 3A Invasive Ductal Carcinoma on July 2013 at age 32. I was diagnosed between summer semesters of an Optometry school program at InterAmerican University in Puerto Rico. I had to take a medical leave for two years to receive chemotherapy, surgery and radiation treatments.
The diagnosis was a significant roadblock in pursuing my optometry career. Yet, I chose to make the best of the situation by learning as much as I could about breast cancer, becoming familiar with fertility preservation and treatment options.
During my time away from optometry school I participated in various support groups, survivor information workshops and breast cancer awareness events including walks, fashion shows, and fundraisers. While finishing up, my treatment l worked as a Social Studies middle school teacher.
Receiving a breast cancer diagnosis, particularly at a young age, was a shock to my family and friends. Having lost my father to cancer in 2005, I felt that my family wouldn’t be affected by cancer again.
If I could choose one positive word to describe my breast cancer journey, it would be strength. I have made many friends within the Cancer-fighting community on this journey and enjoy seeing them at various events throughout the year. I am so grateful for the support I have from my family, friends, and organizations including Susan G. Komen, that have given me tremendous encouragement and strength through such a challenging time. I am truly inspired to help advocate for those who are faced with a cancer diagnosis.
Whenever possible, I take the time to share my survivor story to bring awareness to the risk factors and the importance of early detection through self-awareness exams and breast health screenings.