2 years since diagnosis
Age at interview: 25
Nalie (25 years old) is in a relationship and worked as an e-commerce coordinator. She is currently unemployed as the company she worked for closed down while she was in treatment for her breast cancer.
Nalie received her diagnosis in 2013. Ten months before her diagnosis, in 2012, Nalie felt a lump after workout, but being so young she never really worried it. A few months she saw her doctor who gave her a referral for an ultrasound even though she suspected it to be a cyst. Another few months later, Nalie had to ask her doctor for a new referral as she lost her old one. Nalie then called several hospitals, thinking she had to make an appointment for a mammogram. She was told that mammograms were not given to women under the age of 40. Nalie felt somewhat reassured that she would be ok. After a few months, when seeing her doctor again, she found out that she should have asked for an ultrasound and not a mammogram. Nalie’s mother, who only just found out about the lumps, then made sure that Nalie got an ultrasound done ASAP in a private clinic. From there, everything went really fast and Nalie had to learn many new things while seeing all kinds of health professionals in a short period of time. Nalie, was diagnosed with breast cancer and had chemotherapy, her left breast was removed, and she finished radiotherapy recently. A few days before she was to start the chemotherapy, she found out about the risk of losing her fertility because of the treatment. The oncologist postponed the chemotherapy for one week, when Nalie told him how important it was to preserve her fertility. Nalie had a surgery to get her eggs frozen and started taking Lupron injections to stop the production of eggs. Nalie, a graduate in communications, has video recorded many of her experiences and she decided to post her experiences on Facebook as well as on her own website; www.nalie.ca. She received many positive reactions of women who told her it gave them hope and inspiration to be happy and grateful of what they have. This was a huge motivation for her to keep fighting her cancer and share her story.
- Chemotherapy – NalieOne of the hardest things for Nalie was to shave her head but at the same time she wanted to show others that there is nothing wrong with being bald.
- Surgery – NalieNalie described how it was for her to have drains.
- Understanding the diagnosis – NalieWhen Nalie heard her pathology report for the first time it sounded like Chinese to her.
- Testing and diagnosis – NalieTesting in Nalie's case was slow to start for several reasons. Once tested, however, follow-up was considered urgent and happened fast.
- First symptoms – NalieNalie wasn't worried about the lumps in her breast; her doctor told her it was probably just a cyst.
- Preserving fertility – NalieNalie described her experience of Lupron and explained why she wanted to go through this procedure despite its unpleasant side effects.
- Physical activity and diet changes – NalieWhile living at home, Nalie actively sought out healthy food choices and had the support and encouragement of her family to do so.