Lauren Makiyevskiy of The Daily Debut shares her story of being diagnosed with breast cancer when she was only 26. Find out how she found out and her advice for young women everywhere.
What is your spirit animal?
My French Bulldog Folie. He has been there with me through so much and kept me grounded. He really is my best friend!
When was your diagnosis and how old were you?
I was diagnosed in October 2010, and I was 26 years old. My first sign of something strange in my breast was when I was 22 years old.
How did you find out you had breast cancer?
I noticed when I would bend down my breast shape just looked a little funny (like getting dressed in front of the mirror). Then one day while I was running and jumping on a shopping cart in the Trader Joes parking lot, I felt something. There was this heavy weight pulling on my chest when I jumped (clearly I hadn’t been doing that enough). It was at that point – the combination of the way my breast looked and the actual weight I felt in my breast, that I went in to have it checked out.
Who was the first person you confided in about your illness?
I got a call from my doctor at work. I ran into the room to make a call. To this day I honestly can’t remember if it was my mom or husband (fiancé at the time) whom I called first. It was a blur.
Tell us something about yourself that people probably don’t know.
I love animals, love to dance, and started a site called The Daily Debut, as a resource for all women to come to for everyday healthy alternative options and inspirations.
After your treatment, what do you now make time for in your day?
To laugh and to love. Honestly, you really don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring. I am trying to be more optimistic about everything. People use the word YOLO like it’s a joke to do whatever they want, but really you should think about it, you do only live one life – so treat your body with the utmost respect! Your health comes FIRST!
If you could be a superhero, what would your super powers be?
To fly! Hands down, I wish I could fly around. I would fly down and pull people out of dangerous situations, save animals from danger, spy on things; I mean really you could hire me for whatever!
What advice would you give to someone recently diagnosed?
Get as many opinions as possible! I got 5 for every major decision. I wanted to have an odd number to help me make the right choice that I was comfortable with. It’s very important you educate yourself – don’t trust what someone else says – find the facts out and my your own decision.
If someone wrote a biography about you what would the title be?
Damn, She Did All That
What advice would you give your 16 year old self?
Stop freaking out! And – go the beach! It’s OK that you have a zit. You’re not fat, and yes you can wear that bikini! LOVE your body and stop caring what others think!
What was the toughest challenge you faced?
Being thankful. I found that I spent so much of my life before being diagnosed wishing for something else, hating this, not liking that. After I was diagnosed, stood in the mirror and stared at my chest (no breast, fake breast, no nipple, scars, all the different images), I learned that no matter what – you need to be thankful for what you have and learn to love it. This was really hard for me to overcome and practice prior to diagnoses, during, and after.
When do you laugh the most?
With my husband. I am the most myself around him. I think I just more crack myself up, and he just watches me with a blank face.
If you could go back in time to any event, what would it be?
To my wedding day. It went by so fast, there were so many emotions and things going on. I wish I could go back and freeze everything. Just walk around and take it all in. Best day!
If you could travel anywhere where would it be and why?
I would love to go back to Italy. My husband and I went there for our honeymoon and had the best time. I would want to try to just relive those moments with him, simple and just us.
“When I was 26 years old, I found a large lump in my breast and was diagnosed with breast cancer. Four years prior I noticed a bloody nipple and another lump that was benign. Keeping an eye on my body and noticing changes is what saved my life. To this day, I continue to check myself daily and pay attention to my health and diet. Your health comes first and yes you do only live once! Breast cancer could happen to anyone at any age, so stay educated.” Lauren Makiyevskiy of The Daily Debut
Visit checkyourselfie.org to download our Check Yourself! app and schedule a monthly self-check to protect your boobies! Don’t forget to also post a #CHECKYOURSELFIE and challenge 3 of your friends to do the same!