TNBC and Me: How to Stay Positive When You Have Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
When I heard the words “you have triple-negative breast cancer,” I thought to myself…this sounds triple bad. My head was swirling with thoughts of me leaving my children behind before I had a chance to see them grow up. All the things I wanted to do with my life, all of the places I wanted to go. I wasn’t ready to die yet.
Once I understood my course of treatment (and no, I wasn’t going to die), I decided I could either curl up in a dark room for the next year and cry my eyes out, or I could somehow embrace what was happening to me. And yes…make the best of it. Thank goodness for the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation. Their website and community provided an oasis of support and wealth of information that helped me throughout my entire journey.
I was encouraged to attend events and connect with other TNBC patients and survivors. At first, I wanted to hide from the world. After meeting these incredible women, I was inspired to share my story. Why? Because I experienced first-hand how comforting it is to speak with others who have walked the walk. Only 15 percent of women with breast cancer are diagnosed with TNBC. So this makes us special. There’s a true sisterhood amongst us and TNBCF has done an incredible job of connecting and informing us. They helped me to feel positive about my outlook when it was so easy to remain…negative.
I’m a fashion/beauty publicist, so once my treatment began I needed to figure out how I could look my best while jumping in and out of meetings with fashion and beauty editors, of all people! I scoured the internet for beauty tips, tricks and products but they were hard to find. As a result, I curated a list of things that I loved and it evolved into my blog Cancer Fashionista.
I continue to meet the most amazing thrivers. I met Robin Roberts at a work-related event, and when I whispered to her that I’m also a TNBC thriver, she smiled and took this photo with me – a truly unforgettable moment. I had the honor of meeting fashion designer Rebecca Taylor, who creates a fundraising blouse for TNBCF each and every year. I also met Geralyn Lucas, author of Why I Wore Lipstick To My Mastectomy at a 5 Under 40 event. I mean, this was a book that I would read during chemo, and there I was sitting next to her! Last but certainly not least, I’ve made some really special friends. I met Chiara D’Agostino, founder of Beauty Through The Beast at the TNBCF annual Peace, Love & A Cure gala and my dear friend Emme has been a source of inspiration, love and laughter for me every single day. Most recently, I’ve been invited to co-host WeWork’s WeThrive Meetup group in NYC, which I just love. Each month we gather and talk about interesting topics with incredible guest speakers. Be sure to follow me on Instagram to find out about upcoming events.
A triple-negative breast cancer diagnosis is far from positive. But connecting with others who have experienced the physical and emotional changes that you share sure makes it easier.
The TNBC and Me blog series is supported by: