But despite their similarities, Diana and Miriam were never expecting to be diagnosed with the same type of cancer around the same time.
Diana was the first to be diagnosed. She found a lump in her breast in December and went to have it checked out.
“When I was diagnosed, I think we all go through that shock, but I was okay. I was like, okay, take it one step at a time,” says Diana.
But when it came to her daughter getting a diagnosis a few months later, Diana’s entire perspective changed. “When I found out my daughter was diagnosed, it changed a lot. It changed a lot. It felt like my strength went out the window because we’re talking about my baby now.”
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The pair is now fighting the same type of breast cancer in the same location. Neither of them has a BRCA gene mutation, but their doctors believe genetics still likely played a role, because both cancers are HER2-positive.
“It’s triple-positive invasive ductal carcinoma, and we found out 3 months apart,” says Miriam.
“For me, I hate to see my mom go through it,” she continues. “The tough thing for me was when I had a lump and I was feeling it, my mother was diagnosed so it kind of elevated my anxiety but it also was really hard for me because I had my own issues that I wasn’t speaking about. I kept it private for a while trying to comfort my mom so it was extremely difficult but we have a great support system
The mother-daughter duo is now undergoing the same chemotherapy treatment for their disease. Miriam’s tumor has shrunk from three centimeters to half a centimeter after just one round.
“Mother’s Day has always been special, but this year it’s a little more special,” says Miriam. “We’re both fighting this battle, and it’s a journey. For me, it’s enlightening.”
Diana and Miriam are both scheduled to have double mastectomies within the next few months.
“It’s an unfortunate experience but if I can get a message out there it would be you’re not too young, cancer does not discriminate,” says Miriam.
Check out the video below to learn more about this amazing mother-daughter cancer-fighting team.
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