My name is Dana Nye and I am a young adult cancer survivor…

I had 3 beautiful children and loved being pregnant but decided three kids completed our family. I had read an article about becoming a gestational carrier surrogate. The woman I would eventually become a surrogate for, was unable to carry due to having cancer. This was my first introduction to cancer and its effects. I ended up carrying and delivering two beautiful baby girls for them. The family is still and will forever be part of my life. Several years later, I got divorced. I eventually met my soul mate; Mike and we welcomed a gorgeous baby girl to our family. My life was happy and complete. Then my Dad was diagnosed with Glioblastoma (terminal brain cancer).  He was given about a year to live. He passed November 2017. On January 4, 2018, fifty-one days after my Dad passed, I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). TNBC is an aggressive, non-hormone-based cancer. I was forty years old. My youngest daughter was fifteen months old. Our lives turned upside down again, but this time it was my turn to fight for my life. I had 4 AC and 12 Taxol. I finished chemo June 29, 2018. The chemo had shrunk the lump so much that I could not feel it anymore. All tests said that my lymph nodes were clear of cancer. Therefore, I was given the choice of a lumpectomy with about 5 weeks of daily radiation or a mastectomy without radiation. I chose to have a double mastectomy to prevent daily radiation and help reduce any chance of it coming back since TNBC is so aggressive. I had my double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction on August 16, 2018. I had tissue expanders placed for reconstruction. For me, the reconstruction process has been difficult. I have had a total of 12 surgeries since being diagnosed with cancer. Number 13 is scheduled for July.

The most difficult part of my journey has been the fear of my cancer returning. TNBC has a higher chance of coming back within the first five years.The fear started consuming my life. Doctors recommended many things, but the one thing that worked for me was creating a bucket list. I call it my “Living It” List. Concentrating on completing items on my list has made me change my focus on living!! I am coming up on 2 years cancer free!

I am very thankful for my family, friends, support groups and the many brave women I have met through my cancer journey. Some of them, I hope will be lifelong friends.

Catch me at a waterfall