What We Leave Behind


Last year was…well, it was kind of a whirlwind of badness, sweeping me up and tossing me overboard in its wake.

I had known for awhile that something was wrong. Lesions appeared on my breast, the breast that had been treated previously for breast cancer in 2004. I preferred denial to action and so ignored it. For too long, that’s for certain.

After finally calling the doctor and getting a biopsy of the now multiple bleeding sores, I found out that I had stage 3 inflammatory breast cancer. As this was a totally new cancer and not a recurrence, insurance paid for a second genetic test. With the latest advances in genetics, I was diagnosed with PTEN Hamartoma Tumor Syndrome, or Cowden Syndrome.

At some point in my treatment, I talked with my husband about our future. “I may not make it this time,” I said. After a moment, he sadly replied, “You may want to think about writing things down, stuff that you want people to know.”

And so I began publicly journaling my thoughts and emotions on my personal blog, Stories from This Life. With the new year and a “new” me after a bilateral mastectomy, I thought I should go one step further and create this blog.

So here I am. The blog may be new and shiny, but I’m more than a bit scarred. And maybe scared as well.

Perhaps when you think of hereditary breast cancer, you only think of BRCA. Well, I am proof that another gene can be the cause of breast cancer. And not only one type of breast cancer, but multiple. And lots and lots of other sorts of tumors.

I don’t have any professional medical knowledge. I’m just your average Jane who has had her share of surgeries and illnesses. So please don’t look to me for advice on your own care.

But if you need a friend with Cowden Syndrome and breast cancer, you may have just found her. I’m glad you’re here.

4 thoughts on “What We Leave Behind

    1. Sorry for any confusion, Heather. I never meant for my personal blog to become a “cancer blog,” which seems like what it’s becoming. I’ll continue posting on it, but this blog will be where I’ll be mainly posting my stuff on cancer and PTEN. And yes, you sure can add this link to your contacts.


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