Monica is a 33 year old mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend, colleague.
It was 2 days after her daughter's 2nd Birthday and she was just returning to NJ from a work trip. Her husband had just put their daughter to bed and they plopped down on the couch.
Suddenly, she felt a pain in her left breast like that of a clogged duct from breast feeding. She touched the pain point and felt a hard lump. She had no history of breast cancer in her family and she was otherwise healthy. In fact, she had just completed a 5-mile race through central park a month prior to raise money for HIV/AIDS and was feeling great. This was important to her because her and her husband were planning to try to have another baby and she wanted to be healthy.
The day after feeling the lump, she went to my OBGYN and was examined by a wonderful midwife who urged her to go right away for a mammogram and ultrasound. The series of events (tests, scans, biopsies) confirmed that the lump was a malignant Ductal Carcinoma In-Situ (DCIS) ER+, PR+, Her 2 Neu-. She was optimistic that it was “found early” and she would “beat it”. She was making plans to freeze her embryos (since treatment would likely lead to sterility), start chemotherapy and follow with surgery.
Her oncologist asked her about other symptoms she was having and she told her about a hip pain that she attributed to carrying around her healthily heavy toddler and training for the race. She ordered a PET scan to be sure it wasn’t anything more serious and the scan revealed liver metastasis.
Monica remembers sitting in an exam room holding her sister’s hand and trembling from head to toe when her oncologist said, “This changes your diagnosis [to stage 4] and treatment and your cancer is no longer curable. There are treatments but you’ll need to stop your fertility preservation and start therapy right away. Pregnancy is no longer …”
The last words she heard before going cold. Her mouth continued to move but she heard nothing and could not move. The only thing playing in her mind were images of her daughter, her baby. She needs her mama. How could everything change in an instant?
Eventually, she came back into the present and started processing the news. The days and weeks that followed were filled with the most incredible outpouring of support from my family, co-workers, friends and neighbors who made it clear they were #TEAMMONICA and she was not alone. With this army of support and my faith, she felt empowered to do what she could, while she still can raise money for metastatic breast cancer research.
DonationsSee top donations
- Miriam Slome
- Katelyn Griffith
- Jamie Delpome
- Eason David
- Junelle Dominguez-Cole
Fundraising team: TEAM MONICA (8)
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more