Sabrena Handley Sabrena's Breast Cancer Journey

My Journey began on Saturday, November 7, 2015. I found “The Lump”. I was in NYC finishing up some training for REDKEN to become an Artist with the company. First thing on Monday morning I phoned my doctor and he had me come on in to check. Thank goodness he did. He ordered a Mammogram then that showed something, so he had me do a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound, which in return showed some abnormalities, so he immediately set me up for a biopsy which showed my worst fears, and the doctor called and confirmed “You Have Breast Cancer”. I am Triple Positive with Her2+. Of course, I had no clue what that meant or means. That was on Wednesday, November 25, 2015. I am so grateful my doctors acted quickly and responsively.

We set up appointments with my surgeon to get the ball rolling to get this “stuff” out of my body. While doing this entire process we meet with the oncologist and plastic surgeon. We were hopeful to do a lumpectomy, but found out while testing and getting me ready for chemotherapy, Herceptin, and radiation that I also had a heart condition, so that put a halt to the type of treatments I could take. I could not take Herceptin or radiation, so we had to change plans. So I had to do a radical mastectomy. This put another scare in my mind, if I couldn’t take Herceptin how would I be “cured”. So after much prayer, talking with doctors, my husband, we chose to do the Bilateral Double Mastectomy using the Latismasis Dorsi Flap with reconstruction. It has been one heck of a journey one that has forever changed me emotionally and physically. I had no clue what I was in for in the beginning and sometimes still wonder if it was the right choice, but I have faith in my doctors and nurses and God so I am at peace with my decision. Fast forward to now, I am glad we chose the path I did.

I am not going to lie, it has been difficult, very difficult. The chemotherapy was hard, the Nuelasta shot was hard, the surgery recovery was hard, the emotions were hard, the sickness and side effects were hard, but my support system was amazing and is what got me through. My husband, my biggest cheerleader, has been so great. I honestly do not know what I would have done without him, so thanks to God I am blessed because he gave Mike to me.

I hope to be an encourager for others that have to face this journey. I want to let people know they are not alone and they don’t have to fight alone, even though they may feel alone. So many emotions one goes through, anxiety, fear, pain, highs and lows, I want to be their cheerleader.

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