Tara’s Story

Site created on October 27, 2019

I was diagnosed with stage 3 Breast Cancer on September 5th, 2019. From that moment on everything changed.

It all started when I went in for my annual Mammogram appointment in mid-August and when they asked me to return for more scans, I was weary but confident it would turn out to be nothing. I'd had some minor cysts before, and I was sure it was just more of that. I was wrong. Several more scans and biopsies later I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer with Lymph Node involvement on my left side.

After that I underwent every other type of test I could to make sure it had not spread elsewhere. I had a brain MRI, additional Breast MRI with Biopsy, Pelvic Scan and Heart ultrasound and thank goodness it appears the cancer has not spread anywhere else.

My treatment plan at Overlake Hospital involves receiving Chemotherapy for 5-6 months, followed by surgery, reconstruction and hopefully a cancer free full recovery by this time next year.

On October 1st I had surgery to insert a port inside my chest to receive the Chemo treatments and on October 4th I had my first Chemo session. Since then it's been a struggle physically and emotionally dealing with all the nuances of Cancer. I can't play soccer during this time which is heartbreaking for me. I'm losing all my hair, trying to manage the side effects of Chemo, working my two jobs and keeping up with trying to maintain a regular life. It's exhausting.

I feel so fortunate with the huge support system that I have in place and also all the people supporting Mario and Sophia during this time as they endure this process with me one day at a time. It hasn't been easy on any of us and from what I understand it's going to get worse before I get better. The outpouring of love, prayers and support has been really overwhelming to say the least and I feel so very grateful to have all of you in my life.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support during this time.

(Insert big hug here),


Want to support Tara throughout her journey? Check out the "Ways to Help" button.

Newest Update

Journal entry by Tara Lystad

Hello Everyone!

I'm pleased to announce the surgery went well! My surgeon removed 6 lymph nodes from under my arm and did a lumpectomy. I'm still sore, mostly under my arm, but overall I'm feeling much better. I had a follow up appointment yesterday and she thought all was looking good! She thinks all the cancer has now been removed! YAY!! I can't tell you what a relief that was to hear, it's been a tough road.

Next step is radiation. I have an appointment next Tuesday to set up the Radiation schedule which will be 5 days a week for 6 weeks! ACK! I'm a little worried about frequenting the hospital that much with all that is going on in the world these days but it is necessary in order to complete my journey. I also have to do Physical Therapy for my arm but I'm optimistic it will be back to normal in no time! I got this!

Hopefully all of you are staying safe and sane and healthy during this time. I miss seeing everyone!


Patients and caregivers love hearing from you; add a comment to show your support.
Help Tara Stay Connected to Family and Friends

A $30 donation to CaringBridge powers Tara's site for one month. Will you make a gift to help ensure that this site stays online for them and for you?

Show Your Support

See the Ways to Help page to get even more involved.

Personal Fundraiser
Support Links
Helpful Requests