Melanie and Tiffany.
My sister Tiffany, who is now 33, was diagnosed with Triple Negative Metaplastic Breast Carcinoma Stage 2B in September of 2016. After receiving the diagnosis, she underwent the standard procedures and treatments, which included chemotherapy, a bilateral mastectomy with axillary node dissection, radiation, and reconstruction surgery. Throughout her cancer battle, her faith and courage could be felt by anyone she interacted with.
She volunteered herself to mentor another woman close to her age who received a breast cancer diagnosis months after her own. She attended this woman's first chemotherapy session to show her support. There were many long conversations with each other during their treatments and a life-long friendship was created.
In February 2017, she underwent a bilateral mastectomy. As Tiffany woke up from anesthesia, the medical staff welcomed her into remission. Following recovery from her surgery, she walked me down the aisle at my wedding and rapped her maid of honor speach to Ice Ice Baby. Tiffany returned to her normal life. She continued to teach 7th-grade math and at the end of the school year traveled to Ecuador to discover the beauty of the Galapagos Islands.
In October, during breast cancer awareness month, The William E. Kahlert Regional Cancer Center at Carroll Hospital Center asked Tiffany to speak as the survivor at the Pink Fling fundraiser. She spoke graciously about her journey to hundreds who attended.
Before Christmas, she developed a persistent cough. Without hesitation, she went for a chest x-ray that revealed metastasis lesions in bilateral lungs. The following days consisted of oncology appointments and additional diagnostic imaging. Each day the news worsened. The testing showed the extent of the cancer to her brain, liver, lungs, and bones. Diagnosed on Tuesday, January 18th, 2018 with Triple Negative Metaplastic Breast Carcinoma Stage 4. By the following Monday, she started enduring whole brain radiation for two weeks. Today, she is currently receiving chemotherapy with the same hope and warrior attitude from the beginning.
What do you with news like this? You plan. I am planning events in honor of my sister and all those who are affected by Triple Negative Breast Cancer. Proceeds from events will go to our foundation, A Sister’s Promise for Hope, where we will then donate the funds raised to the National Cancer Institution, NCI, for research. This is my promise to her: that together we will make a difference in breast cancer and there is always endless amounts of hope.