Hey world, my name's Laila. I'm 30 years old and I was diagnosed with breast cancer in January of 2018. The crazy part of it (ok, maybe 1 crazy part) is that I'm a scientist and former cancer researcher. I'm starting this blog for a few reasons: to keep friends and family updated, to promote awareness among young women (#checkyoself), and, maybe most importantly, to help newly-diagnosed people maneuver the world of cancer. While the shock of it all has been a lot to take in, the cancer terminology (that is crazy and foreign to most people) is actually my daily language. That's why I think I may be able to help. I'm hoping I can help fellow cancer patients to make informed decisions (with your oncology team) and feel confident in the choices you're making. My life plan also includes becoming a leader in the field of breast cancer research where I will work on making real impacts on the way breast cancer is treated. So stay tuned.
Here's a quick pre-cancer life recap: I was born in Charleston, South Carolina and I love the coast. I'm half Persian, half Southern. I have 1 sister, 2 brothers, and 2 awesome parents. I went on to do lots of schooling to earn my PhD from Duke in Biomedical Engineering. I'm now a researcher at a biotech company working on growing lungs for people with chronic lung diseases. Oh yeah, and I have 2 cute sweater puppies (actual dogs, not boobies) named Pharah (plott hound/pit mix, age 3) and Willa (wheater terrier, age 5) and a super cute boyfriend (who is also a former cancer researcher), Joe.
Where I'm at in all of this: double masectomy with reconstruction complete, axillary node dissection complete, TCHP chemo regimen complete (6 cycles), 25 rounds radiation complete, 12 HP infusions, ongoing letrozole daily + zoladex monthly
Stats: stage 2 invasive carcinoma, HER2+/ER+/PR+, BRCA negative
Family hashtag: #roudsarinotsorry
Cancer hashtag: #LongLiveLaila #teamlaila
My story starts here.