Meet breast cancer grad, Crystal Johnson
Name: Crystal Johnson
Age at Enrollment: 30
Major: Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Stage 2A ER+&PR+; HER2-
What were the primary symptoms you experienced prior to diagnosis? I didn't experience any symptoms prior to diagnosis.
What symptom(s) lead you to go to the doctor? I was performing a self-breast exam a few weeks before my 30th birthday. I noticed a pea sized lump on the outer region of my right breast.
Courses Completed: Lumpectomy with Sentinel Lymph Node removal positive; Modified Radical Mastectomy with 10 Lymph Node removal came back negative, and Chemotherapy (4 rounds of Adriamycin and Cytoxan, 4 rounds of Taxol which I completed January 3, 2017)
What was your hardest moment and how did you get through it? The hardest moment for me was coming to grips with having breast cancer at a young age. On top of that, I didn't know how to break it to my son. A whole lot of prayer, my husband, and church family helped me get through the shock and denial.
Any helpful (tangible) tips or tricks you discovered for dealing with your symptoms and/or cancer? Don't look at cancer as a death sentence. Once you are diagnosed don't go straight to the internet because it will overwhelm you with information that may not pertain to you. When it comes to dealing with symptoms, it's trial and error. I was prescribed every nausea medicine from pills to ointment, and nothing worked. Prayer and leaning on my faith helped me deal with cancer.
How did you find joy during this experience? I found joy every morning when I woke up to my son. He motivated me to live and not give up.
Did you learn anything about yourself? If so, what was it? I learned that I am more than a conqueror. I can do anything I put my mind to, and overcoming breast cancer was one.
Thanks for sharing your story with the Cancer Grad community, Crystal!
A special note: We received Crystal's request to be on our Yearbook Page on her last day of chemo and it is with tremendous honor that we introduce this Brand New Cancer GRADUATE.
If you are a Cancer Student, Graduate, or Cheerleader, we would LOVE to share your story. Please, fill out the request form at the bottom of the Yearbook page and YOU could be next.