Stephanie O'Riley : Stage 3 Cancer

I was diagnosed with advanced stage 3, Invasive Ductal Carcinoma on 6/15/2017, I was 33 years old.  Prior to my diagnosis I was just a hard working single mom, two jobs, football practice, going through the motions of balancing life and work, nothing spectacular. I had previously felt a lump in my Right breast but was told it was just a swollen milk gland, this happens, I breast fed..... When I finally decided to get it checked out I was having sharp pain sporadically in my right breast and the lump had turned into a large mass. My OBGYN refered me immediately to get an ultrasound that quickly turned into a biopsy and then the dreaded words came "this is cancer". PET Scan showed the cancer has spread to my lymp nodes but not to other organs as of yet, so the best news I've gotten to this date was it's NOT stage 4 "this is curable!". 
My doctors wanted to start treatment immediately after the PET scan, begining with 6 rounds of chemo (this is stop the growth of my cancer before surgery) then I will have a double mastectomy follwed by more chemo and radiation. 
Since chemo started I've realized my life is going to change a lot. I was determined to keep working both jobs and be super cancer mom while I was at it, but these drugs have other plans for me. I've had to quit my second job because it was very physically taxing and trying to be there would have done more bad than good. I've realized I will have to take the help that others had been offering and let my pride off the hook. Since my first doctor visit the bills are adding up so quickly that my head has yet to stop spinning. I'll have lost and gained so many things by the end of this journey but I hope that being buried in debt is not one of them. 

"It takes a village" these words have never been more true!


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Stephanie O' Riley 
Valencia, CA
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