Tracey Ashton

Age: 48
Profession: Training Manager
Type of Breast Cancer: Metastatic Breast Cancer
Year of Diagnosis: 2010
Years since Diagnosis: 8 years
Relationship to Susan G Komen: Race participant

I will have to say, when I heard those words, you have Breast Cancer and it’s the last thing I remember hearing all the rest of the words that came out of my Doctors mouth sounded like I was listening to the teacher from the cartoon the Peanuts.  I had a feeling when my Doctor told me to cancel my Business Trip to New York that it was not going to be good news. My immediate thought, I am single, I am 40, I am going to lose my hair, I am in the best shape of my life Training for a Triathlon how can this be?  And ohhhhh….. and I am cutting these boobs right off and getting a new pair, so I never ever have to deal with this again.

Unfortunately, my Cancer was already staged 3B so not caught early, it has already spread to my Lymph nodes, and I had 4 large tumors in my left breast. Diagnosis date, October 25th, 2010 had my port put in a few days later and was already in Chemo November 16th. It all happened very fast. 5 Months of Chemo, 33 rounds of Radiation, and then started just to think, that’s it…it’s done, and after 5 years of Tamoxifen I am done.

June 29th, 2015, 3 months before my “5 years out” I was having mild, and I mean mild discomfort in my abdomen and mentioned it to my Doctor.  Just to be safe she sent me for one last PET scan and showed Metastasis to my Liver, I had my ovaries removed, and then 4 months later I had Y90 Surgery, and so far, that’s been great, but unfortunately, on my last scan, it showed I know have several tumors on my spine. I am currently Stage 4, and I still struggle with explaining to people that it’s Metastatic Breast Cancer, not Liver or Bone Cancer. Education has been my mission to just talk to people I know and tell them and explain it. All of it is tough for me because I HATE pink and I don’t want to be defined by ribbons and pink tutus.

I have continued to work full time and travel, I love to live to the fullest, since my Diagnosis, I have driven the Amalfi Coast in Italy, swam with the Whale Sharks in La Paz Mexico, swam with the Stingrays and Dolphins in Grand Cayman, went to New Zealand and observed Penguins and Sea Lions in their natural habitat, snorkeled in Fiji and much more.

I think the word I would use to describe myself is resilient. I don’t dwell on things I refuse, I feel like I just keep getting back up. I am however ready to medically retire and look for a job that makes my heart feel happy.

Translate »