After 3 years of fertility treatments, we were finally blessed with twins! Sean and Shea O’Malley (boy and girl) were born on January 19th, 2015 (my birthday) and our dreams had come true! The next day, I felt a lump in my right breast and asked my doctor to check it out before my milk came in. He was very concerned and the next day scheduled me for a mammogram and ultrasound.
In 1989, my Mother died of breast cancer and I have remained very adamant with annual mammograms since I was the age of 27. Unfortunately, our worst fears came true and 2 days later, I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Infiltrating Duct Carcinoma at the age of 38. Within 48 hours, we had experienced the highest of highs and now the lowest of lows. At a time, which we should be celebrating our new family, we were now faced with another uphill battle and the fight of my life.
Typically the next few weeks would be filled with happiness, as we would bring our babies home and begin the joy of parenthood. Instead, our days were filled with tests, doctor’s appointments and the beginning of chemotherapy. I was also tested for the BRCA gene and the results showed I am positive for BRCA 2. We have now completed 4 of 6 rounds of chemotherapy and will have a double mastectomy and reconstruction surgery 6 weeks after completion. In addition, we have decided to remove my ovaries once recovered from my mastectomy.
I had originally planned to go back to work after 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave, as we are a 2 person working family. I am now out of work without any short-term-disability insurance and will most likely be out of work through September. Due to the side effects from the chemotherapy, we have hired a day nanny to help me take care of the twins and have had family and friends helping us on the weekends and nights. It has been a struggle, but our medical outcome is positive and we are thankful that we caught the cancer early and I will beat this!
We would be honored to receive any support from the BTB Foundation and we appreciate you considering us. Thank you!
Kathleen and Matt O'Malley