Why me? What did I do to deserve cancer?

“Babette, the word carcinoma on this paper means it’s cancer, it’s definitely cancer, do you understand?”

Is turns out, I have infiltrating ductal carcinoma… I know right? What!?

It’s triple negative…. What?!

And it’s grade 3.

“What’s the difference between grade and stage? Am I going to die?”

All these big words started flying at me… and all I could think was. “I can’t have cancer! That doesn’t happen to me.” “She probably has someone else’s results” “maybe the lab mixed it up”


“What’s happening?”  “Why am I crying so profusely?” “Is this really happening?” “Am I dreaming?” “Can’t stop crying”

Infiltrating ductal means that the cancer started in my milk duct. Triple negative means that it’s not influenced by hormones and grade 3 means it’s aggressive, she explained.

Omw… I thought cancer is just cancer… but it’s not!!? There are different types of breast cancers that respond to different kinds of hormones (or not, in my case)

“But Babette”, she said, “usually if cancer is aggressive and classified as grade 3 it means 20% of the cells are duplicating. 90% of your cells are duplicating.”

“What? Why me? Did I do something wrong? Maybe it’s that cigarette I smoked at that one party… I ate McDonalds last week. Can it be my deodorant?” “I should definitely cut sugar.”

“What did I do to deserve this?”

I kept on thinking that… I did something wrong. My whole life has been one trauma after another. I must’ve done something wrong. But What?

I didn’t. You don’t walk into chemo and stare at the people wondering what they did to deserve cancer? Why do it to yourself? It has been my biggest lesson. To love myself enough to have compassion towards me. To be kind to myself too.

The tumor measured at 19.6 x 14.6 x 19.4mm. I’ve only had cancer for a few weeks. It’s growing very rapidly.

The doctors don’t really understand how I picked it up so early. They said that woman usually only feel the lumps at between 5 and 8cm!!

“How did I get this lucky!? Am I lucky?” “. I have breast cancer at 32”

“Babette, it’s just a boob. You don’t think with your boob, you don’t see with your boob, you don’t taste or smell with your boob, it’s just a boob”

“But it’s my boob” “It’s my femininity”

We needed to act quick. She already made me an appointment at my breast surgeon, Lucienne van Schalkwyk, to discuss my treatment options.

“Am I going to get Chemo????!!!!”

High Risk Factors for Breast Cancer you can’t control:

Being a woman
Dense Breasts
Reproductive History
Family History of Breast or Ovarian Cancer
Generic Mutations
Personal History of Breast Cancer or other Breast Diseases

High Risk Factors for Breast Cancer you can control:

Being overweight / Obese
Taking hormones
Reproductive History
Excessive Alcohol Consumption


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