Mastectomy and Breast Reconstruction Surgery | Andy’s Story

– My life before cancer
was pretty carefree, I’ve always been that way. Working and loving my dog and
hanging out with my friends and nothing is ever gonna happen. And that’s kind of how I, not I didn’t think that, but you never think it’s
gonna happen to you. Then January 24th, I get the call and I’m sittin’ on my couch by myself and I’m talking to the doctor ’cause it was less than 24 hours later so I didn’t think anything of it. And I was like hey Doc, what’s up? And he’s like, kid, I have to stop ya. And I’m like, what is it? And he’s like, you have cancer. And he told me I do have stage four metastatic breast cancer. So I have a tumor on my right hip and one on my L2 spine, as well. I didn’t really know what
to think or how to proceed. You hang up that phone
and you’re kinda like, how do I tell my parents? And honestly, that’s the
only time I got semi-tearful was when I had to call my parents. You know just trying to figure
out where to go from here. At the beginning it was really
weird being the cancer girl. ‘Cause that’s kind of how I saw myself and I was a very outgoing person. And I was still outgoing,
but I wasn’t going out. I was staying in my house. I was kind of trying to figure
out what do I do with myself. Who am I now? And I didn’t realize that
that’s what I was doing. But it was. And gradually I started dipping my toe in, going out a little bit, and I have a group chat
of all my girlfriends. And I’m like, hey, what would you think about me having a party? I was thinking of calling
it tata to my tatas. And they were like, let’s do it. I’m like, all right. So, I put it on Facebook,
a couple people shared it. Then more people shared
it and I was in shock. There had to be hundreds of people there. I’ve prayed for direction in my life for many years and believe
that this is the journey that I’m meant to be on. I’m choosing to make the best of this and also make every effort
to help others along the way. I would like to read
something to all of you that motivates me to be a better person. I read a poem at the party called The Dash and it basically just tells
you to live your life. You’re given your birth day and then your death day. And in between those two is a dash. And what are you doin’ with that dash? Like nobody ever thinks about that when they look at your tombstone. But that’s what’s the most important, not those other two. So, you gotta work on that dash and just make sure you live every moment. I wanna use this to educate
as many people as I can on metastatic breast cancer because there’s not a
lot of discussion on it. It’s kind of how I’m
choosing to live my life and just help other people at this point. Workin’ on my dash every day. (soft, dramatic music)


  1. Your story touches my heart beyond words…and knowing that the words of my poem helped you in some way is SO wonderful!  Thank you for sharing part of your "dash" with us. ~Linda Ellis (Author of The Dash poem.)

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