Angela Baker ~September 2019
SISTA Survivor: Hi Angela, I’m excited that you’ve decided to share your battle against breast cancer with SISTA Survivor Angela. Let’s start off with looking back at your days before Breast Cancer. Tell me about your life before breast cancer?
Angela: Before cancer I was a single mom to an 11-year-old, I had just finished grad school and was thinking about a new career path.
SS: When were you diagnosed and at what age?
Angela: I was diagnosed in 2003 at the age of 32
SS: What kind of cancer were you diagnosed with?
Angela: I was diagnosed DCIS stage 0 in 2003, a reoccurrence in 2010 and stage 4 metastatic in 2011. ER/PR+Her2-
SS: WOW, 32 years old! That’s pretty young. I was 34 myself. How was the cancer initially detected?
Angela: The cancer was detected by my primary care doctor who wanted me to get a mammogram because of her concerns, the mammogram led be to having an immediate same day biopsy which confirmed I had cancer.
SS: That had to be really scary. We know that about 10% of all breast cancers are hereditary, Did you have a family history prior to your diagnosis?
Angela: No, I was the first person diagnosed in my family. However my mom did have an aunt who had had it many years earlier.
SS: As a woman, your femininity is important to and we like to feel beautiful. Your quality of life is also very important. Do you think this aspect of women’s surgery was addressed during your treatment?
Angela: I felt like the only choice I was given was to reconstruct, which I did, however I have recently accepted it and now walk proudly as an “unoboob girl.”
SS: Did you face any obstacles during your treatment process? If so, how did you overcome these obstacles?
Angela: My treatment was fairly easy. I took Tamoxifen for 5 years, initially during my 1st diagnosis. My later treatment included radiation – 2 separate rounds, and then once I became stage 4, I now take monthly shots of Faslodex, Xgeva and a pill called Ibrance. I do face obstacles now of fatigue, achy bones and stiffness. I take naps, I try to do what I can when I can and I try to be grateful that I am still alive in spite of. I live life to the fullest and try to inspire others to do the same.
SS: Yes, that’s all we can do live life to the fullest. How did you feel when you first received the news?
Angela: I was young, so my response was let’s fix it, I have a life to live. I had a child to raise I couldn’t let cancer get in my way.
SS: What did your support system look like during your treatment?
Angela: My family and friends were there if and when I needed them. I tried support groups but honest nobody looked like me, everyone was much older and mostly white.
SS: How long have you been cancer-free?
Angela: I am living with metastatic breast cancer, it is stable right now, but I will never be cancer free. I was “cancer free” for 7 years before it came back.
SS: Do you have any words of wisdom that you would like to share with our future SISTA Survivors?
Angela: A positive attitude really helps, set boundaries, ask for help and tell people what type of help you need, people don’t know what to say so don’t let their comments get to you. Your family really don’t know what you are going thru and they will probably worry than you. If you don’t feel like doing something don’t. Last Don’t forget to dance in the rain. #LiveLifeNow!
SS: Thank You so much for sharing! I hope to hear from you again in the future
Angela Baker ~ SISTA Survivor of the Month ~ September 2019