My name is Nicole Delli-Santi Carey and I am 39 years old. I found a lump in my left breast on May 12, 2016. I was on the couch while on the phone with my mom. I’d usually be at work during that time but was recently laid off. I immediately made an appointment with Care Station for the next day so I could get a prescription for a mammogram. Everyone who knows me knows I never go to the doctor. Unless, I have to deliver a baby! It was a feeling of horror deep inside.  I knew but didn’t want to believe it.

I went to the appointment. Immediately following I went for the mammogram and ultrasound at Women’s Health where a Biopsy was recommended.  They also found a second lump.  The biopsy was performed May 19th and on May 24th, I was diagnosed with Stage 1 invasive ductal carcinoma. My entire world changed.  I chose to be a person who sits and researches hundreds of hours on the different types of breast cancer.  However, I am triple negative, the most rare and aggressive type. Two days after my lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy I learned I also carry the BRCA one mutation.

I decided to be as aggressive as possible. I was TOTALLY against chemotherapy for the first 2 months.  Then, I realized I’d be crazy not to do it especially since triple negative breast cancer responds best to chemotherapy. I’m currently going through chemotherapy.  It’s not pretty.  I lost my hair, I’m sick for about a week after infusion with many side effects and completely fatigued.  I go through heart palpitations, hot flashes and heartburn. It’s doable because my life is worth it.  I have 3 children all under the age of 10, I want to live to watch them grow and they need me. I will be removing my ovaries and going for a bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction.

This has truly been the fight of my life.  Thank GOD for 5 Under 40. On August 30th, I attended my 2nd meet up at their office. Lori Klein, Celebrity Make up artist chose me out of 30 women to get a full make-up tutorial and application in front of 35 survivors! My kids loved my new look and 5 Under 40 is truly helping me stay alive and beat this monster everyday.  I mean that from the bottom of heart.  I could never have made it this far and been so strong had I not found them!