I went to Oxford and all I got was this lousy cancer.

I was diagnosed with ER+ Stage 2, Grade 2 invasive breast cancer in March of 2009, at the age of 24. I had my treatment–six rounds of chemotherapy and a mastectomy with immediate latissimus dorsi flap reconstruction–in England, under the National Health Service. I will be on Tamoxifen until I’m thirty.

This blog chronicles my treatment in journal entries from March-August 2009, and post-surgical adjustment to living the remainder of my twenties as a breast cancer patient.

I’m currently a Ph.D. student in English literature. I live in Michigan, with my cat.



7 responses to “About

  1. Hi – I have the BRCA1 mutation..surgeries scheduled. I read your ‘About’ comments..Wow – so young to have had & battled breast cancer. I’m so sorry that you’ve had to go through that. This is usually where people say “I can’t imagine what that’s like” but I CAN imagine, in fact, I’ve done more than my fair share of imagining what it’s like…it’s why I’ve scheduled surgeries to get rid of all of these parts, get them before they get me…

    I have a blog as well, do you mind if I add you to my blogroll?

    • emilywaples


      Thanks for your comment. I’m sorry to hear you have the BRCA1 mutation, but happy you haven’t gone through the cancer experience! I hope everything goes smoothly with your surgeries — I know it’s a very difficult thing to do.

      Yes, please do feel free to add me.

      All the best,

  2. clamorousvoice

    Also, wtf, I didn’t know what the fucking BRCA1 mutation was, why do we not get taught this.

  3. Emily – thanks – blogging is great – writing is such a helpful process – even if it isn’t all butterflies and joy…

    clamorousvoice: I have no idea.. I never even heard of the BRCA mutation until this year – I’ve sure learned all about it now though..

  4. Just found your blog via Teri’s and am astonished by your candor and clarity. I am BRCA2+ and have opted for a preventative mastectomy (coming this December!). I write about my experiences at goodbyetoboobs.blogspot.com. I’ll add your blog to my link list, and I hope you might consider doing the same. I just read your entries, and it seems we write about a lot of the same topics — health care, body issues — so I hope you’ll stop by and check it out. I’ll be following your journey.

    Best, Steph H

    PS: You should check out my friend Cancer Bitch (and her book of the same name). She’s the thinking woman’s breast cancer survivor and blogger. cancerbitch.blogspot.com

  5. Dee

    I just found your blog through Teri’s blogroll. Love your anger and I share it. Fuck cancer.

    I will add you to my blogroll, if that’s okay.

  6. Emily, sweetie-darling (as the Ab-Fab girls used to say), allow me, as a woman old enough to be your mum, just to wax maternal for a moment. I just soooooo HATE to discover another young one like yourself grappling with this effing disease. You and Teri, who was kind enough to comment on my blog and let me know it was on your blog roll that she found me. And thank you for that, BTW. You and Teri, who is also just about young enough to be my daughter as well, you are just too young for this. There is just something so wrong in the universe when young women end up with breast cancer. I just can’t stand it. It ain’t been a picnic to be post-menopausal with this stinking disease either, but I’ve at least had all these carefree years to enjoy my boobs without feeling that they’ve betrayed me. Lord, lord, lord. I’ve got to update my blog roll. I’m sorry you’re having to cross back over the pond & deal the this idiotic, inequitable American health care system. If you need me to adopt you (I have great health insurance, at least), let me know.

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