This entry was written by Jaime Rossano. Jaime was diagnosed with 2B invasive ductal carcinoma breast cancer. Jaime is a college student pursuing a degree in Humanities and Social Science. Every other Friday, Jaime will share a blog entry about her breast cancer experience. This year-long blog series is in honor of LBBC’s 20th anniversary.
To read Jaime’s previous entries, enter “Jaime Rossano” in the search box on this site.
Being so young and having breast cancer has raised a lot of questions in my family. Is it genetic? Well, lucky enough, in my case it is not. So how did I get this? The answer will remain unknown. No one can tell me why I have breast cancer and why my genetic mutations are negative.
At my last doctor’s appointment my doctor had mentioned to my mom she wanted her to see the genetics counselor to do genetic mapping to see if she was at a higher risk of having breast cancer. The results came in and her chances are 2-times higher than that of the general population. So their recommendations are for my mom to have an MRI, Ultrasound, blood work and genetic testing to see if she has the BRAC 1 and BRAC 2 mutations even though I am negative. All of this needs to be done before they decide what she should do next. Am I my mother’s hero for helping her to decide what to do so she does not have to live with what I have been going through for the past 7 months?
I know it breaks her heart everyday to see me, especially during the bad chemo weeks, or the days I call her crying because I am just tired of being a cancer patient. Is my experience enough for her to make some tough decisions now in order to prevent her from having to experience this herself? It was hard enough for me to watch myself go through this but to actually in return have the possibility of watching my mom go through this as well kills me. I hope based on all the results she can make the best decision for her. Hey, at 28 I’m fighting like hell to make sure I’m around in 30 years. She needs to be around too.
It’s the little things in life that matter. I always knew that the little things in life meant a lot but I never really realized how much they really mean. I finally decided that those little instincts I always have are now going to turn into actions. I always wanted to send cards to people on their birthdays just to let them know someone remembers. I always wanted to thank the doctors for taking care of me but never quite knew how. I always meant to send a card that says I’m thinking of you and I wanted to thank the special staff members who have walked me every step of the way through my journey but I was afraid.
I don’t know why I was afraid before. I would tell you I was “too busy,” but ever since my diagnosis – I have called a “time out.” A time out to tell those around me how much they are loved. A time out to continue to make the most memories I can. This is something I am going to continue to do throughout my life.
All I can remember about my surgeon was him wearing this boring green surgical cap both times he operated on me! So I decided that I would make his world a little brighter and I bought him three brand new scrub caps to wear. There is one with frogs, one with smiley faces, and a purple striped one. I also attached a “Thank you” note to the gift. I can’t forget about the girls in my radiation office! Last Friday was Tootsie Roll Friday. I brought in two bags – one for the front office and one for the back office. This Friday is Jolly Ranchers and Carmel Crèmes Friday. The special nurses in chemo got a tray of cookies. To thank the hematology/oncology unit at Cooper Cancer Institute and to specially thank my oncologist Dr. Grana for taking such wonderful care of me, I am coordinating a fundraiser event and a portion of the proceeds from this weekend’s Zumbathon will be donated to the Janet Knowles Breast Cancer Center. I want my little things/actions to just make someone else smile and let them know they are special.
I finally figure out that tomorrow is never guaranteed. Doing the little things makes a big difference in a world where life is just too short.
To read more about Jaime’s journey, be sure to search “Jaime Rossano” on this site.
Do you, like Jaime, feel like your breast cancer journey has been instrumental in someone else’s life? We want to hear from you! Comment here or on our Facebook page.