My name is Jean. I was raised on a family farm in Northeast Nebraska. I came to Omaha for college and decided to stay. I am a daughter, sister, niece, aunt, mom, and grandmother. I have a very extensive family history of cancer. Some are survivors and some have lost their battle. I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in October of 2018, while recovering from my thyroidectomy and waiting for the next step in my treatment, I found a lump. I went to my doctor within the week and had the test and biopsies to confirm my worse fears. Yes!! I had breast cancer at the same time as having thyroid cancer. I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma, stage 3, ER positive, PR negative, and HER2 negative. I had 2 consultations and more tests before deciding on my course of treatment. I did have genetic testing which showed that I wasn’t genetically predisposed to breast cancer. One of my friends was also diagnosed with breast cancer at the same time and she had the same oncologist that I had so we, along with family, went through chemo at the same time.
I do have to admit that I went through treatment with very few issues or shall I say I didn’t acknowledge the issues. I worked throughout the treatments as well. I had a very understanding group of co-workers/bosses that I was comfortable with just doing what I could. After the treatments were done and I was moved to the Survivorship Program, that is when I had issues. I wasn’t prepared for the side effects that persisted. I was done with treatment and I thought I would pick up right where I left off. The cancer pill I was taking, put me in the hospital due to an extreme reaction for a couple of weeks. What an eye-opening experience. I had to have physical therapy to be able to walk more than a few steps. It was then that I knew I needed emotional support as well. I had a great support system that included my family and friends, but they didn’t know what I was going through mentally. I decided that I needed a group to help me.
Project Pink’d is one big family. While I am not the same person as I was before this journey, the Pink’d sisterhood reminds me daily how lucky I am to be alive. They are such a wonderful group of sisters supporting me with my challenges. Project Pink’d is helping me to understand the “NEW” me.