“I Want to See My Kids Grow Up” – Giorgia’s Breast Cancer Story

I try to be strong everyday for me and my family because I want to see my kids grow up.

In September 2015, I felt something wrong with my breast. I went to my primary provider and I told her about it. She gave me a breast exam and told me she couldn’t feel anything, but just be sure she scheduled a mammogram. The following week I had my monogram and the results didn’t show anything, however, the doctor decided to give me an ultrasound. I knew there was something wrong when the technician came in and out of the room. She came back in one last time, but this time the breast specialist was with her. They explained to me they saw something, so I had to come back in the following week for a biopsy. 

In the meantime, the head of the breast clinic department met with me to reassure me that everything was going to be okay. I was scared to death. I returned the following week for my biopsy and had to wait another week for the results. It was the longest week of my life. Once I got to the breast clinic, they took me into the patient room and I put on a gown, shortly the doctor came in and began discussing with me what was going on. I remember she told me “You have Stage I invasive breast cancer,” and I don’t remember hearing anything else. 

I couldn’t believe it. I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 34. Because of my young age and no family history, I was sent to get a gene test and both of them came back negative. I was offered a lumpectomy, but I opted for a double mastectomy. Exactly one month after diagnosis, I underwent a double mastectomy with sentinel lymph node removal. The surgery lasted 11 hours. I remember waking up and hoping all this was just a dream. 

I had two spots on my breast.  I was diagnosed with stage 1 invasive and stage 0 in situ. I was happy to know all my lymph nodes were clear. After recovering, I met with the oncologist and I was informed the cancer was so small I would need to undergo chemo. I was prescribed tamoxifen for the next 5-10 years of my life. I also met with the radiologist and he didn’t recommend that treatment. 

Today, almost a year and a half later and three reconstructive surgeries. I feel great. I live day by day and try to promote breast cancer awareness. I encourage everyone to go with their gut feeling. If they feel that something is wrong, please go get checked. If I hadn’t visited my doctor and waited until the age of 40 to receive my mammogram, it might have been too late.

I try to be strong everyday for me and my family because I want to see my kids grow up.