A California woman found out that she had breast cancer with the help of her husband.
Elissa Kalver, 35, started to notice that she was dealing with abnormal pain in her body after the birth of her daughter, Ellie, in 2020.
This prompted her to go to her doctor where she underwent blood tests. However, when the test results came back, they were normal.
Her doctors spent months trying to figure out the cause of her pain, but could not find the problem.
“(None of the pain) was near my breasts,” Kalver told the “Today” show. “I was 34, so you don’t do mammograms or anything particular anyway.”
However, one day while her husband, Eric, “copped a feel,” Kalver joked, he felt a lump in her breast. She assumed that it was just a cyst or clogged milk duct due to breastfeeding for roughly 10 months.
After the birth of her daughter, Kalver said she also experienced numbness in her feet while playing tennis which concerned her.
“It was weird,” she said. “I couldn’t keep shoes on for too long. It was like my feet felt like they were swelling up, and they would get tingly and numb.”
Kalver went to her doctor and the tests came back normal.
“I was going to everyone, my primary care doctor, my gynecologist, just to make sure everything was good with my body because I felt like something was off. Again, everything came back fine,” she said.
After Eric found the lump in her breast, Kalver decided to get a mammogram, ultrasound, and biopsy.
“I just messaged my doctor like, ‘Hey, I feel a lump in my breast and want to see if I could come back in for another breast exam,’” she said. “When they felt the lump in my breast, they also felt one in my armpit, which are my lymph nodes. From there, things moved faster.”
Her doctors finally found the cause of her pain. Kalver was diagnosed with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer. This type of cancer grows faster than other types of cancer and can spread to other parts of the body, according to WebMD.
The cancer was also malignant and her doctors did not realize how much it had spread until she had her PET scan, according to the “Today” show.
“We found out that it had also spread all throughout my liver. My liver was covered with cancer and my lower spine. That’s when I found out it was stage 4,” Kalver explained.
Kalver said that getting her diagnosis was “really shocking” but nonetheless, it didn’t cause her to give up.
“It was really shocking, but my mentality was like right into action,” she said. “What do we do? How do we tackle this?”
Kalver started eight rounds of chemotherapy and as a result, it shrunk a lot of her tumors. She also began two antibody treatments for the HER2 protein.
While she was receiving chemotherapy, Kalver began to experience headaches. When her doctors did an MRI it was discovered that she had “a couple of tumors” in her brain.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
Despite her circumstance, Kalver has used it for good and started a non-profit organization called “We Got This.”
“I started WE GOT THIS to create a resource that will help cancer patients to feel empowered, strong, and beautiful not only throughout their treatment — but the rest of their life in general,” Kalver wrote on the website.
Kalver told “Today” that helping other cancer patients has given her “such purpose.”
“Being able to give people the tools and the information for what they might need and what they might want adds a whole positive element to this experience,” she shared. “I don’t necessarily believe everything happens for a reason because this is tough and I wish I didn’t have cancer. But if I’m going to have it, what’s come out of it is the most special thing I’ve ever done. It’s given me such purpose.”
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