Bryce was deployed to Afghanistan last year and came to me for a new patient consultation about breast cancer. She came dressed in her Army Combat Uniform. I thought “how appropriate that she came in dressed for battle, because there is certainly one ahead of her.”
At age 23 she not only served in Afghanistan, but is also married and became the mother to a gorgeous little boy named Jayce, who is three months old. Now she is facing breast cancer and mastectomy, months of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and then reconstructive surgery later. She delayed reconstruction partly because she wanted to be able to hold her baby and the surgery would have delayed that. That’s a lot for any woman to face. She was diagnosed shortly after giving birth and is doing her best to be a new mom, wife and soldier, all while facing this illness. She looks like anyone’s daughter, with strawberry hair pulled into a ponytail and a quick smile. Bryce has already joined the Young Survivors Coalition and is helping to encourage other young women with breast cancer through her optimism and contagious energy.
Nothing seems to get her down. She came home from her mastectomy and took her little boy out for Halloween fun that same night. Maybe it’s youthful energy or maybe it is a refusal to give in to this disease or to give it any more power over her life and the life of her son. Bryce is away from most of her family while on post here in Savannah. Her husband is a great support. They are a young couple and are struggling to keep everything together. No one expected this especially at 23. Cancer is certainly not welcome on their doorstep but just won’t turn and go away. She now has a port-a-cath in her throwing arm. Bryce loves sports... softball... baseball and swimming. She likes to be a girl and when she is not wearing camouflage ….THIS GIRL CAN ROCK SOME PINK! She would love to see New York with her family. She likes to travel but traveling back and forth to doctor’s appointments is not her idea of fun. This girl could use some pampering….and some rest. A manicure and a pedicure would be fun or even a spa day just to escape. Her baby boy needs all those baby things….snuggly pajamas, diapers, little man clothes. Most of all, he needs his mom to be there for him. Dad could use a break too. Maybe he could go to a spa with Mom to unwind. There’s a lot on his shoulders and he is trying to keep everything calm when there is nothing calming about cancer.
This is a young family and this is their baby’s first Christmas. Bryce is looking forward to many years and creating many memories. I hope you can help her do this.
Anderson Cancer Institute at Memorial
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