Ann Loonam

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My story starts in 2012 when my Mom passed away from cancer after having it 3 times. 4 months after she died I got the news that I had stage 2 triple negative breast cancer, as well as the BRCA2 gene defect. At the time I was 47 years old. 2013 was spent mainly in and out of treatment. 3 surgeries and 2 cycles of chemo which included a double mastectomy. Once my treatment was over I expected to feel good and get back to 'normal.' Little did I know that was not to be the case. At the time I wasn't aware of the heavy toll stress can take on our immune systems, and since I had just gone through my Mom's final illness and her passing prior to my diagnosis I went in pretty broken down. A month after my last surgery I developed pneumonia. I was crushed, and after that it was every virus known to man which I rarely had an issue with prior to my cancer treatment. In the last year or so I decided to share my story on a Facebook blog page (Lucky Girl by ann) and also on Instagram. I have gone through a lot and I don't want it to be for nothing - my goal is to help others by sharing my ups, downs, and health related issues. It's been very rewarding and I enjoy the writing. A new development is that a couple of weeks ago I was diagnosed with early stage Parkinson's Disease. That was quite a blow since I felt like things were finally settling down and I had worked through the grief of my Mom's passing. One thing I've learned over the last 5 years or so is to listen to my body, and when something seems off to get it checked out. I'm grateful it was detected early and am taking one step at a time. Thank you Joan, for all you do sharing your story with others. We can all inspire each other! xo Ann

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