Lauren’s Story: The Beginning

May 10, 2022 | Stories

Lauren Huffmaster was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. Two years into treatment, she learned the cancer had metastasized. Today, she is living with metastatic breast cancer (MBC). Whether you’re healthy, have just been diagnosed or are living with MBC, the connection between breast and bone health is vital. This is Part 1 of Lauren’s two-part story.

In 2014 I was a busy mom. I had two kids in preschool and one in kindergarten. Just the drop-off, pick-up, get to work schedule was exhausting. My husband and I wanted to buy our own house, and this is what it was going to take. Everything in life was scheduled, and every day had a plan. Keeping three girls under 6 happy, healthy and fed filled our hearts and minds.   

It was in this season I felt a lump. I had been pregnant or breastfeeding for seven years, and I wasn’t sure I remembered how my breasts were supposed to feel. I had just stopped breastfeeding my daughter, so naturally, I thought, no big deal, this will just go away.    

I have a specific memory of picking up my daughter from the after-school program and seeing a mobile mammogram bus in the school’s parking lot. I pulled over to the bus and stopped. I had the girls in the car, and I wondered if it was possible to get this lump checked out. In my head, I said, “I am under 40, so I don’t know if they will even see me. Plus, I doubt these people want to watch my kids for 30 minutes.” I sat there pondering my options and then drove home, made dinner and didn’t give it another thought.   

Six months later, I was in the shower and noticed this lump hadn’t resolved itself; instead, it seemed to be pushing upward.   

That wasn’t a good sign. 

I told my husband, who apparently was already worried about it, and so I made an appointment.   

On the day of my appointment, I seemed to know our life was about to change. It was before Thanksgiving, but I chose to hang our Christmas stockings, get all dressed up and take a holiday photo in the front yard of our new house.   

I still look at that picture today, my long hair, a sparkle in my eyes, the girls’ three pink Christmas stockings hanging behind me. The image captures all of the innocence of the moment.   

Years before that day, I felt something special would happen to me on November 11.  Every year 11/11 would come, and I would walk around in joyful expectation. Something significant did happen on 11/11. It was the day my life changed, the day I learned I had breast cancer. 

Statements and opinions expressed are that of the individual and do not express the views or opinions of Susan G. Komen. This information is being provided for educational purposes only and is not to be construed as medical advice. Persons with breast cancer should consult their healthcare provider with specific questions or concerns about their treatment.