About Me

Hi, I’m Robin.

I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer at 21 and stage 4 metastatic breast cancer 4 years ago. This means the cancer spread to other parts of my body, mostly my liver and bones, and because of that I will never be cancer free again. My cancer’s super aggressive and in 4 years I’ve run through of all of the standard of care drugs and a few clinical trials.

Most women in their early thirties are mapping out their futures. They’re planning their next career moves, working out travel plans, maybe starting families. Here I am today, out of options, praying for a new study drug or miracle cure, and also planning for my death at 33. 

So how did we get here?

In the spring of 2005 – a month before my 22nd birthday – I was about to begin my last semester in college when I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer.

About six months earlier, I had found a lump in my breast that I showed my gynecologist. She told me that I had fibrocystic disease in my breast like many young women do, and with no family history of cancer, I was dismissed. It wasn’t until the tumor was so large that it started to protrude, that I realized that I needed to be checked again. A different doctor knew immediately that something was wrong and sent me for scans and a needle biopsy. On March 23, 2005, at the age of 21, I woke to a call from a breast surgeon who explained that I had cancer and needed to start treatment immediately. It would have been better if the cancer had been caught before it spread to my lymph nodes. So, my cancer saga began, and I have been fighting it ever since.

After a bilateral mastectomy, chemo, and radiation, I was declared “in remission” for almost eight years. Even then, I had to take pills and a shot to keep me in menopause since my tumor was hormone sensitive. I also suffered from lymphedema, a chronic condition caused by the removal of lymph nodes during my mastectomy.  Eventually, what I thought was a pulled groin, based on the diagnosis by an orthopedic surgeon turned out to be my cancer, back with a vengeance, this time in my spine and liver.

While no one knows what makes my cells mutate to cancer, they all know how bad and aggressive it is. Lucky people find a drug that controls it for a few years, and when their cancer cells adapt, they get switched to a different drug. I’ve unfortunately never had a drug work longer than six months.