Johanna was diagnosed with breast cancer at 31 weeks pregnant at the age of 39. Early detection saved her life. Read about her incredible fight.
“I’m Johanna. I was born and raised in St. Louis, MO, where I met my husband. We’ve been married for 12 years, and we have three beautiful children.”
HOW DID YOU DISCOVER YOU HAD BREAST CANCER?
“I was 31 weeks pregnant and I started having some abnormal discharge from my breasts. It’s the #2 sign of breast cancer that people don’t know about. My doctor ordered testing, which showed stage 3 invasive mammary carcinoma.”
HOW DID BEING PREGNANT AFFECT YOUR TREATMENT?
“It was tricky. We wanted to make sure that my health was taken into consideration, but also that the baby was okay. We determined that it was safe enough to deliver my son one month early. We allowed my body to heal for about 4 weeks, then proceeded with a double mastectomy. After that, I went into six months of chemotherapy and 28 rounds of radiation.”
WHAT KEEPS YOU FIGHTING?
“That’s easy. It’s my children. I fight for them every day. I wanted to show them what a strong woman was, and how fighting for yourself is the greatest prize. I wanted to show them that mommy was a survivor and mommy was a fighter.”
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR PEOPLE BATTLING CANCER?
“Keep the fight. It’s going to be awful sometimes. You’re going to feel miserable. There are going to be days that you feel like you can’t get out of bed. And that’s okay. But on the days you can, you get up. You get out. And you conquer.
Get Screened. It may save your life. Just like I’m sitting here today. I would advise all women from the age appropriate to make sure you’re getting your screening completed.”