Parker County Today December 2017 - Page 11

Four years ago she was fighting for her life. It all began when Stevens was at home breastfeeding her infant daugh- ter Violet and something didn’t feel quite right. She had discovered a lump in her breast. The diagnosis was delivered to Stevens on Feb. 17, 2013, one that turned her world upside down. It was that dreadful word — the “C” word. To hear it in a diagnosis it is devastat- ing.  “It’s hard to put into words,” the 35-year-old mother of two small children said about the diagnosis of cancer. “It’s like the world stops. Time stops. You’re kind of paralyzed by fear. I’ll be honest.” Tests revealed the cancer to be a very aggressive type. “Amanda’s case was complex for several reasons,” said Dr. Robyn Young, a breast cancer specialist with The Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders in Weatherford and Fort Worth. “Her tumor was large, involved lymph nodes, and was confirmed as triple-negative breast cancer, a fast- moving and relatively rare type of cancer. All these factors meant she needed chemotherapy before surgery. Usually a patient has surgery first, but not in this case.” The news worsened. Stevens tested positive for the BRCA-1 breast cancer gene mutation. Talk about “double whammy!” This is the type of cancer that actress Angelina Jolie battled so publicly. The identification of the gene basically increased the chances cancer would show up in Amanda’s unaffected breast to 50-80 percent, according to Dr. Young. Her risk for ovarian cancer also soared.  So in