My name is Laurin Long at the age of 25, I was diagnosed with Stage 2 invasive ductile carcinoma ER, PR positive, HER 2 negative. My only other experience with cancer was losing both my parents to stage 4 cancers. When I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer, I thought, man, I got this early and all will be okay. I was treated as aggressively as possible, going through 4 months of chemotherapy. After each chemo treatment, I would reward myself for finishing by running a race, my own way of giving cancer the finger! I went through 7 surgeries, including a double mastectomy, followed by 6 weeks of intense radiation. I was diagnosed as free and clear breast cancer in April of 2015.
During treatment, I met the love of my life, Michael, and after finishing treatment, I went on to finish my second bachelor’s degree as well as landing an amazing accounting job with a Fortune 500 company. Life was moving fast and it was exciting.
Every cancer survivor fears reoccurrence, and I too knew there was a high possibility for me that the cancer would come back. But instead of living in fear, I chose to live life to the fullest. I went on a cruise for the first time. I enjoyed a hot air balloon ride. I traveled every chance I got. I went to an all-inclusive resort in Cancun. I made sure to enjoy time with my family and friends and most importantly, make memories.
In August of 2017, just seven months away from my wedding day, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer The breast cancer I thought was gone has now spread to my bones and liver. This means I am now in metastatic status, commonly known as Stage 4. My first welcome to Stage 4 was finding out one of the drugs I now need to live costs $1100 a month. Oh yeah, and I can’t work due to the pain and discomfort bone cancer causes. If I could wish for anything it would to have an unforgettable wedding day with the love of my life! I keep telling my doctors I have a wedding to dance at in March and they better make sure I am ready to dance the night away.
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