Breast Cancer Survivor of the Week: Anne E.

On November 1, 2011, Anne and her husband found out they were pregnant for the second time! On November 11th, Anne lost the pregnancy. On November 23rd she was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer. She was just 28 years old, a wife and a mother to a 2-year-old daughter. Thankfully, the cancer was caught early and only because she was pregnant did her doctors even pursue and biopsy it. No one expected it to be positive, she was only 28! After finding out that she also carried the BRCA2 mutation, Anne opted for a double mastectomy. She then endured four rounds of chemotherapy, all while trying to keep life "normal" for her 2-year-old daughter. Her daughter's sweet spirit and strength really amazed Anne and was her motivation to get up and fight each day.

Today, Anne is 18 months past completing all of her treatment and she is proud to be a cancer-free. Anne feels blessed to have gotten through this detour in her life with so much strength and dignity. Her mission now is to educate others about early detection, namely in young women. She shares her story so the world will know that young women can and do get breast cancer, and that they can also beat it and live boldly as strong survivors.

When were you diagnosed?
Nov 23, 2011

Are you cancer-free? If so, for how long?
Yes, for almost 2 years.

How have your family and friends helped you?
I could not have gotten through this without their help, love & support. From sitting with me at chemo to taking care of our daughter while I had surgery.

What tips do you have to help other breast cancer survivors stay positive?
Just remember that you aren't alone -- many other women have fought (and won!) this battle and they will embrace you to help you get through it. The best thing you can do is reach out to other survivors to help inspire you and keep you going. Some of my newest, best friends are other survivors who carried me through the hard times of treatment. Cancer survivors are like earthly angels living among us.

What has someone done to make you feel better?
I was put in touch with complete strangers who were also young breast cancer survivors. Those women are now like sisters to me. I am so grateful that they were brought into my life, because they offered me a unique type of support.

What advice would you give someone who is about to go through treatment?
Rally yourself that you CAN do this. The only way to get through it is to truly believe you can and will.

What was the scariest moment?
When the doctor called to tell me that my biopsy was positive for breast cancer.

What was the funniest moment?
When our daughter laughed at me the first time she saw my bald head.

How has breast cancer made you stronger?
When I was first diagnosed, I told my husband there was a reason for this, and it was because I was meant to pay it forward. Having cancer has given me the strength to find my voice to passionately share my story. I feel so strongly that young women need to be their own best advocate and speak up about their survival. Early detection really does save lives!