PINK WARRIOR SPOTLIGHT
Welcome to our Pink Warrior spotlight page where LQC acknowledges the young women who have fought during their unexpected journey. Here at LQC we desire to support, encourage and educate young women by highlighting women and their personal experiences and journey.
3X CANCER SURVIVOR
My name is Jessica Florence. I am a 28 year old graduating architecture student at Florida A&M University, from Jacksonville, FL. I was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic breast cancer, with a metastasis to my brain, then spine. My first diagnosis was discovered in 2016 at the age of twenty-two. Prior to my first diagnosis I discovered a lump in my right breast. I have no family history of breast cancer so I didn’t think it was a concern. It wasn’t my first thought so I didn’t think to go get it checked out. My breast were fairly large. In my mind the lump was just some inconsistent breast tissue, but I wanted a second opinion.
It was time for my annual with my gynecologist and I expressed my concerns to her. I felt chest pain, there was discharge in my nipple, and discoloration. She told me that it couldn’t be breast cancer because I was too young so she ruled out breast cancer. She was unsure of what it could be so she referred me to a women’s clinic for a mammogram. Upon arrival, I was immediately denied a mammogram because I was too young. So the alternative was an ultrasound. The ultrasound technician ruled the diagnosis to be fibroids and I was too young to have breast cancer. In the midst of everything going on I started searching google for answers. the symptoms I was experiencing was breast cancer.
There was a change in my insurance and I saw two more doctors to make sure that what I was feeling wasn’t breast cancer. In 2016 I was given an ultrasound and biopsy, diagnosed with stage 3A breast cancer and I was HER2+. I did six rounds of chemotherapy, unilateral mastectomy in my right breast, reconstruction, then finally radiation. Fast forward to 2020. The coronavirus pandemic saved my life. I had recently ended my internship at Jacobs Engineering Group in Alexandria, VA. For the entirety of the internship. I had a headache. I don’t how I got through it, but I did. There were frequent trips to the emergency room, nausea, vomiting, and vision loss. I told the doctor I had a history of breast cancer, but it was over looked. I was diagnosed by two doctors with a tension headache.
After my internship In January 2020 I returned to FAMU. The pandemic sent everyone home. I was thankful for the pandemic because I had one last emergency room visit that turned in to my second diagnosis of stage IV metastatic breast cancer. The tumor grew so large it was the size of a pancake so it was removed, followed up with chemotherapy treatment. This year (2021) the cancer spread to my spine. I am currently still fighting and going to school, but overall grateful for my life.