COLORADO SPRINGS — When 33-year-old Ivy Sanchez learned in late August that she had stage three triple negative breast cancer, the news hit her hard. But Ivy says she hopes that by sharing her story, fewer women will have to travel the road that now lies ahead of her.
“Definitely go get checked because you never know. If they catch it early, some girls don't have to go through chemo, you get a pill and that kills (the cancer). If you catch it early enough, then you don't have to do 21 weeks of chemotherapy.”
Ivy says she was well aware of the warning signs and seriousness of breast cancer, but she had reasons at the time not to be alarmed by small lumps in her breasts.
Ivy explains, “I just had a baby. She is 11 months old now and I thought it was a milk duct. I didn't really think anything of it because I was breastfeeding and thought it would go away, because they can happen when you get pregnant.”
Ivy’s cancer treatment journey is challenging on its own and also includes picking up once a week and making an overnight trip to Colorado Springs from Raton, New Mexico, where she lives. She moved there with her five children shortly before she was diagnosed to help care for her mother, who has stage four COPD. The first evening in Colorado Springs involves blood work, and the next day is filled with hours of chemotherapy.
Ivy says while she’s in the early stages of treatment, it’s certainly changed her outlook on life.
“You appreciate life way more and you don't realize how much stuff you take for granted.”
She is also taking this fight one step at a time, so for now, the focus is on these weekly chemotherapy sessions. Ivy says, “I’ve got 17 more weeks of chemo to go. Last week was a little rough and we still have a long way to go.”
In our next story, we learn how Ivy is responding to treatment, and she shares the gesture from a stranger that she says has made a big impact on her treatment experience and life.
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