I’m Lauren Miller. I currently live in Boca Raton, Florida with my daughter Alyson.
I was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer in 1991 at 28 years young. I had a lumpectomy followed by 7 weeks of radiation. I also underwent a lymph node dissection where they removed 28 lymph nodes under my right arm pit, they were tested and all clear! Since I had not had children yet, I decided not to have chemotherapy. I lost mobility in my right arm for 6 months at which time I stayed home and illustrated my first children’s book.
Fast forward 23 years to 2013. I had pain in my right breast. I watched it for a few months and then went to get a mammogram. The doctor told me I was fine and that I have dense breasts. Well, 6 months later, I realized she had been so wrong. I went for a second opinion. I was once again diagnosed with breast cancer. So, once again I listened to the doctor. I was now 51. I had my ovaries, uterus and cervix removed so I could not have a chance of getting uterine, ovarian, or cervical cancer. This seemed smart to me considering my age and not wanting more children. This followed a series of tests to uncover what stage I was in. First, they thought it was Stage 2. Then they found a lump in my groin and under my left arm. They determined it was Stage 4. To my dismay the Dr’s. said they had never seen it in these three places like this. Of course! I wasn’t surprised. I knew I was unique! I assured my girls and family I would be fine.
So, once again I didn’t listen to my gut! I was a personal trainer for years and was extremely active. My leg started hurting but I brushed it off like I had hurt myself. I figured I had hurt myself during a workout. I went out and bought a cane! What was I thinking? I was so strong, I figured I could fix this on my own. Once again, I was wrong. I went immediately to my primary physician and he looked at me and said you probably have bone cancer! What!!! He said yes, breast to bone is common. I rushed back to my oncologist for help. It was then that my doctor sent me to an orthopedic oncologist. I asked what was the best case scenario. She told me, after reading my scan that I would walk again and return to my regular activities. That was all I needed to know. I got some crutches and a walker and headed for the radiation oncologist. She told me the same thing. Best case, she had seen people walk again and recover. So, I had radiation to my hip where I had a hole. It took about 6 weeks for me to see results following treatment. I did walk again!! I have full mobility back. A few months later I ended up with lymphedema of my right leg from the radiation. I went for lymphatic massages and got support garments for my leg. I knew that I could heal from this. I had already done that in my right arm years ago. And once again, I healed.
At that time, my oldest daughter was away in Israel for a year and I promised her when I was walking again I would get a passport and visit her. And I did just that. In March, I went to Israel and walked 50 miles! After I came back, I decided to have another scan. It was at this time the Dr. said I needed emergency surgery! What????! Yes, he said. My right kidney was blocked. I needed to go to the Urologist. My dad ran me down to Miami and the Dr. showed me my scan. Wow. I was shocked because I had only one symptom which was indigestion for a day! I was in the hospital the next day to have a stent placed in my ureter. I recovered in one week. Once again, I only asked best case scenario. I was told I’d be fine, and to resume regular activity. I did just that.
I’ve begun to take “healing juice” by IV once per month. I don’t like the medical terminology so I use my own words!
Since my MBC Diagnosis my life has been challenging yet inspiring. I have come full circle with what I believe attributed to me getting this disease. I am grateful and blessed for all of the support I have received in the last four years. I have also overcome bone cancer and lymphedema. I am not just surviving, I am thriving!
The hardest part about being metastatic is not knowing where you stand at all times with this disease but it’s my hope to be No Evidence of Disease for the rest of my life!
What matters most to me are my two daughters. I plan to live a long life for both of them. My biggest lesson thus far is listen to your instinct. Challenge what the doctors want you to do. Read only positive information. Only ask your doctors for best case scenario! Read as many survivor stories as you can! Find your reasons for living!
I would like for my legacy to be that I never gave up! Live strong and positive. Life is truly a gift.
If you would like to be in the MBC Spotlight, please Click here to view the guidelines for writing your spotlight submission! It’s important that we share as many individuals as possible. Join us in our effort to shine light on the darker sides of breast cancer.
Show Comments (0)