I’m Blair! I am a mom, wife, hairstylist and SURVIVOR. I am a Tennessee native, born and raised in a small town north of Nashville called White House before moving to my current home of Gallatin. My journey with breast cancer started when I was just 25 years old. I am now 26 years old and have 3 babies under the age of 5 with my husband of 5 years, Spencer.
My life changed last year when I felt a lump while showering, when I was 34 weeks pregnant with my 3rd baby. I went to the doctor and had the lump checked. After they performed an ultrasound, I was told I would need a biopsy. When my results came back I was home alone with my oldest and my middle child. I will never forget that day because it was February 2nd, my husband’s birthday. I received the news I’d hoped I wouldn’t be hearing. It was cancer. As soon as I hung up the phone with my OB I called my husband, then my parents and my sister right away to deliver the not so great news. While they already knew cancer was suspected we didn’t believe this would be happening.
I was diagnosed with a hormone positive (Estrogen and Progesterone positive), HER2 negative, stage 2 breast cancer. By definition ER/PR positive breast cancer is fueled by hormones, therefore my cancer was feeding off of my pregnancy as my body was naturally producing more of the hormones the tumor responded to. My doctors told me once my daughter was born there was a small chance my cancer staging could reduce due to my main supply of hormones being cut back. Thankfully this rang true and after my double mastectomy in March 2018, my final pathology came back to be stage 1.
Prior to my double mastectomy I delivered my daughter at 35 weeks and 6 days, just 2 weeks after finding my lump! In order to determine the next steps for my treatment I had to wait for all my milk to dry up and have an MRI of my breast. When I went in for the test I had a panic attack and wasn’t able to complete the MRI. I then saw the general surgeon on my case and had genetic testing, all of which was negative for any cancer linking genetic deformities such as BRCA 1 and 2. At this time the biopsy tissue was also tested to determine which hormones my cancer was fed by. Once we had these results I met with my oncologist who determined I would be having a double mastectomy without any upfront treatment.
For those of you who have had a mastectomy, you may be able to relate to my surprise when I found how limited my strength was afterwards. You just don’t realize how many muscles and how much strength you pull from that area in everyday life. Just sitting up for the first month or so I had to have help from someone. This procedure is not for the faint of heart. If there is one thing I wish I would’ve known, it would be to have research more options on reconstruction and advocate for myself more on exactly what I wanted! I’m learning to love myself, but to only be 26 it’s very hard to accept my body for what it is now. I feel if I would have been more informed and were able to make choices for myself prior to the surgeries, I would’ve been happier about my new body.
If you are just diagnosed I would recommend you DO YOUR RESEARCH. It’s kind of a double edged sword, because in doing so you can totally scare yourself by things you can read and not fully understand. On the other hand, by doing so you can fully present yourself with every option and ask every question/concern you have, to put your mind and heart at ease.
The other side to the process is the mental/emotional side. I am not an emotional person. I do not like for anyone to view me as weak or emotional, but through all of this it was very hard not to be. If I could give one piece of advice to help someone mentally and emotionally go through their journey, it would be to keep yourself busy and surrounded by people who love you, support you, and will always keep you laughing. My family, friends, and babies kept me going strong and moving forward through this entire journey. Every day is new and while it may not be what you wanted you take the cards you are dealt, you lean on the ones you love and love you, and you trust in the Lord to get you through!
My journey was definitely the furthest thing from easy, but it could’ve been a lot worse. I am so blessed and thankful to say, that as of March 12th, 2019, I am 1 year cancer free, and hoping and praying for many more years. I am thankful for all the support and love I received throughout my journey and would love nothing more than to be a rock for someone else experiencing breast cancer. If you need me I’m here.
Blair’s Instagram name: blairelise