Sarah Merchant
Sarah Merchant 5 pledges

I was 28 years old, only a few years after I graduated from college. I had a beautiful son and a great career. It was then that I noticed a ping pong sized lump in my left breast. I waited a week before I went to the doctors, thinking I had just banged into something and that it would heal on its own. When I did go to the doctors they said I was much too young for breast cancer and that it was most likely a cyst, but they sent me to the breast clinic to be examined anyway. After many biopsies, mammograms, and a breast MRI, I was told that I had breast cancer. At the time the breast cancer only seemed to be in my breast, so we started to schedule a mastectomy for the following week. Before my surgery I was going to have to meet with an oncologist to discuss chemo after surgery, have a CAT scan, brain MRI, bone scan, and PET Scan just to be sure everything was contained to the breast.

Two days before my scheduled surgery I found out that the cancer had spread to my liver and sacral spine. I underwent a liver biopsy, however it was clear at that point that everything had changed. My surgery was cancelled and I was no longer curable. I was metastatic, and at some point I was going to die of breast cancer. My plan for surgery was changed to chemotherapy first, then possibly surgery, radiation, and more chemotherapy. I was going to be on some sort of chemotherapy for the rest of my life. My doctors never gave me a timeline, yet I knew that living another 5 years would be a dream.

I am now 32, and my son is 12. Thankfully the drug regimens I have been on have kept the cancer at bay and I am currently considered No Evidence of Disease, which means the cancer is too small to be detected on scans. I am almost 4 years out, and I have no plans on going anywhere anytime soon. Thanks to medical research for metastatic breast cancer I am still here, and my son still has his mother.

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