Almost everyone has been touched by cancer in some way. Founder of Pretty Frank, Amy Perez, stopped wearing traditional antiperspirants in 2010 when research surfaced linking aluminum and parabens to breast cancer – and started looking for solutions to keep her family safe and from there, Pretty Frank was born…
1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime – when detected early, the 5-year survival rate is 98%. This is Amanda, one of our loyal and strong PF customers. This is her story:
“To start my story, I am going to go back a few months before my diagnosis. I had gone to my follow-up appointment with my OB/GYN after giving birth to my youngest son. There was nothing to indicate that in a few months my life would change. I started back on birth control and had another follow-up for that as well as a yearly exam, a month after that visit. Again, no signs of anything wrong. Flash forward a month and a half. I was breast feeding my then 5-month-old and was doing a self-breast exam. I will admit, I rarely did these and only did one because of the breastfeeding and a decreased production on the left side. During this exam, I noticed some lumps. I played these off as being part of breast feeding and just a clogged duct. I kept feeling it pretty much daily and it never went away. I had a friend and coworker feel it and we both agreed it was just something from breastfeeding. I finally, a month after finding it, decided to go to my OB/GYN and have it checked out. The first thing she noticed when doing the exam was the dimpling, something I never paid attention to. She immediately walked out of the room to have her nurse set up a mammogram the next day. Looking back, she knew, and there was panic on her face. I did have a feeling when I left the office and just started crying.
The next day I went for my mammogram and of course had to have an ultrasound. I believe later that day or the next morning, I received a call that I needed to have a needle biopsy done. The following day, I had the biopsy done. That was on a Wednesday morning. Friday, I was at work, taking a break to pump, I get a phone call from the surgeon’s office. When I answered the phone, I never expected the voice on the other end to be the surgeon. My heart sank, and then I heard “Mrs. Graham, your results came back, it is cancer.” I fell to the floor and was angry and scared. I was 31, I was healthy, I had a 2-year-old and 6-month-old, cancer doesn’t happen to young women. All these thoughts ran through my mind. The next few weeks was a whirlwind of appointments to set up for my double mastectomy, reconstruction, an oncologist and radiation oncologist. I had my double mastectomy with reconstruction a month after I received my diagnosis, about a month later I started chemo. I had 4 rounds of Adriamycin (aka Red Devil) and Cytoxan and 4 of Taxol. The radiation oncologist said she was comfortable not doing radiation for me! About 2 months after my last chemo treatment, I came down with pneumonia and had to be hospitalized for a few days. About a month after that I had my final (what I thought at the time) surgery with my implant exchange (prior to this I had expanders.) I was put on Tamoxifen for maintenance. I am expected to be on this for 5-10 years. I have been on it for about 3 and half so far.
Things have been normal apart from an unexpected implant exchange a year ago. I have started doing CrossFit and doing my best to be as healthy as possible. I started that 2 years ago. As part of being healthy, I decided to research things. My cancer was hormone driven. I decided I needed to start changing from commercial products with stuff I could not even pronounce so who knows what it does to our bodies, deodorant especially! My husband and I had tried other brands and did not have much luck. We tried Pretty Frank and have been in love since then!
I was diagnosed at 31, sadly, in my local support group, we have had a few ladies younger than me when they were diagnosed with much more aggressive cancers. It is real, and it is scary how it is starting to affect women younger and younger.”
For the entire month of October, we are partnering with Keep A Breast to promote Breast Cancer Prevention and we will be donating 2% percent of all sales to help get the word out about self-checks and other ways to prevent breast cancer. For more information, read our Keep A Breast blog.