Samantha Westhuis

First post: Apr 2, 2022 Latest post: Jun 25, 2022
Welcome to my CaringBridge. I am using the site to share my story and to keep family and friends updated on my journey as I navigate my diagnosis with breast cancer. I appreciate all of the love, support, prayers, positive vibes and well wishes.

Let me share my story.

I am a wife. I am a mother. I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am an aunt. I am a friend. I am a pediatric intensive care unit nurse. On March 22nd, 2022      
I became a cancer patient. My strong faith along with the loving support of my family and friends will help me navigate this journey.  

While in the final trimester of pregnancy I noticed a lump.  My nurse midwife was convinced it was just a clogged milk duct.  The lump remained hidden while I nursed my beautiful baby boy Kamden. Once I could no longer continue nursing I realized that the lump was still there but it had continued to grow.  I decided to get it checked just for peace of mind.  

I had a mammogram followed by ultrasound and biopsy. The waiting was almost unbearable. But then the waiting was over- It was a day that I will never forget for the rest of my life. The phone call confirmed that my suspicions were right. Hearing the words “You have Cancer” out loud was mind numbing! Yet somehow, I knew it when the radiologist was reviewing my mammogram and ultrasound scans with me before my biopsy procedure. I could tell by the way she was talking to me. I could tell by the way she was looking at me. I knew it wasn't good. My initial diagnosis is Stage III Invasive Ductal Carcinoma with ER and PR + receptors as it has spread to one lymph node. This type of cancer is hormone receptor-positive, which means the hormones estrogen and progesterone are responsible for fueling the cancer’s growth.  Fortunately, it is HER2 negative!    

I’ve met with my oncologist and surgical team and we are moving forward with an aggressive treatment protocol. I will have systemic treatments, like chemotherapy, hormone therapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy which will fight cancer throughout the body.  Followed by localized treatments, like surgery and radiation therapy, which focus on removing or attacking the tumor directly.  

 We have a long road of ahead of us but I will beat cancer!  I am strong and will continue to remain optimistic!