By Guest Blogger: Holly Ronci
At 27 years old, the last words you expect to hear from your doctor is “the results are not good, you have breast cancer”. At that moment my entire life changed.
The year of 2018 had already thrown many hurdles on my way and the big "C word" was the absolute last thing I thought I would have to deal with. With my mum sitting next to me, I started crying as the doctor explained I was likely going to need chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. It didn’t seem real, I thought they must have made a mistake.
So many questions started flooding my mind: “Will I lose my hair?”; “Has it spread yet?”;“Will I need a mastectomy?”; “Am I going to get really sick from the chemotherapy?”. I was starting to feel overwhelmed and panicked, and tears started to flow down my face.
Going back in time a week from that moment, I was laid in bed when I found a lump in my breast, but that didn’t worry me too much. I had already detected a benign mass in 2013 and figured it was more likely the same thing – nothing to worry about.
Fast forward a few days, I was having an ultrasound when the doctor came in and said the mass looks a little suspicious and that I would need a biopsy. At that moment a small part of me knew it wasn’t going to be good. I asked the Radiographer if a woman in her 20’s could get breast cancer, and so she informed me it was possible, however very rare and I shouldn’t worry too much. That was enough to calm my anxieties. I convinced myself it was just another benign mass.
When diagnosed, I didn’t understand how this had happened. I was a fit and healthy young woman: I ate well, exercised, never smoked, only occasionally drank alcohol. I was told that less than 1% of woman diagnosed with breast cancer are in their 20’s and on top of that, my cancer was a grade 3 cancer, which is the most aggressive type, where the breast cancer has extended beyond the immediate region of the tumour and may have invaded nearby lymph nodes and muscles.
The week following just turned into a blur of constant medical tests and scans to check what seemed to be every inch of my body. I've had 3 rounds of chemotherapy, I've been told I would most likely need to have a mastectomy and radiation therapy. I've had to stop working during that time, have cut back on exercising as much as I use to, and spend the week of chemotherapy with my parents.
My entire life as I knew it has changed. However, every grey cloud has a silver lining and the diagnosis brought many positives including the ability to help fundraise for amazing charities that do incredible work for breast cancer patients, like me.
About the Author
Holly always had a love of ballet and movement. This passion transitioned into teaching as an Xtend Barre instructor. She teaches Xtend Barre and TRX classes to her clients, always encouraging them to achieve their goals no matter what life challenges they are facing. She was born and raised in Perth, Australia. Her love of the beautiful pristine Australian beaches gives Holly a perfect backdrop for her personal yoga practice. Despite her current chemotherapy regime, she gets her body moving through gentle yoga flows regularly. Find her on Instagram.