Understanding women’s health has the power to impact how we connect with each other, how we learn, and how we can normalize the conversation and take preventative measures. We’re sharing women’s stories (your stories) to celebrate and honor you. We’re creating a space to not only discuss  the many ways we navigate our physical health, but our mental and emotional health as well.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, we’re highlighting  impactful stories of strong, courageous women who have experienced breast cancer and now want to share their story with you. 

We interviewed, founder of StyleEsteem Wardrobe and breast cancer survivor, Sonya Keshwani. Sonya is an inspiring strong #WarriorWomen who is sharing her journey with us of what overcoming breast cancer was like for her.  Her reliance, her strength, and her unyielding pursuit for true healing are incredibly admirable and heartwarming. We invite you to join us in learning more about Sonya’s survival story. 

HV: Can you tell us about how your journey with Breast Cancer first started? When were you first diagnosed, how old were you, what type of breast cancer were you diagnosed with, and how was the cancer initially detected? 

SK: My journey with breast cancer started in 2018 when I was 29 years old. I accidentally detected a suspicious lump in my breast while showering. I had the lump checked out immediately and was told it was most likely nothing, because I was young and had no family history.

I didn’t let that stop me from getting my testing, and getting my answers.

I was diagnosed with Stage I, triple positive breast cancer less than one month later.

HV:  Is there a family history of breast cancer? 

SK: No there is not. That is why this whole experience was so shocking.

HV:  Can you tell us about your treatment process and what that was like for you? Was there anything in specific that made it easier for you to get through it? 

SK: Treatment was the hardest part of the entire cancer journey. I went through 6 rounds of taxotere and carboplatin chemo, 1 year of herceptin and perjeta infusions, numerous surgeries and continued medication and monitoring.

It helped me to see myself past my treatment and hair loss, and to learn to love my beauty as a fluid element. During treatment I started to create head wraps that captured my style and courage.

Putting on a head wrap before treatment or an appointment became like putting on a superhero cape.

Having my own personal super hero cape did wonders for my mental health and attitude. 

HV: Did you experience any complications throughout your treatment?

SK: Each round of treatment was more difficult than the last, especially since the side effects were compounding. By my sixth round of chemo, I began experiencing the face on my skin peeling off and bleeding, mouth sores, and total loss of taste, to name a few issues. While I didn’t have treatment disrupting complications, these issues made it difficult to stay determined and get to the finish line.

HV: Throughout your journey, did you feel that you had a support system or the resources you needed? If not, how did you overcome that? 

SK: I was blessed to have my family as my support system throughout my journey. It has also helped to connect with other young breast cancer survivors through organizations like The Breasties and Young Survivor Coalition. This has been a great way to crowdsource information and to build bonds with women who understand the unique issues of survivorship.

It helps to know you are not alone and to be surrounded by women who “get it.”

HV: Based on your experience, what do you wish people knew more about in regards to breast cancer? 

SK: I wish women (and men) knew the importance of regular self-exams and screenings – even if you are young, even if you have no family history. Consider your breast health a form of self-care that can save your life. Early detection gives you the most options and time for treatment. And this means potentially a longer and healthier life for you.

HV: Do you have any messages you would like to share with the women in this community? 

SK: Know that breast cancer and hair loss don’t define you. They don’t make you less of a woman or less worthy of your dreams in life.

You are infinitely capable and powerful.

Think like your future self, and believe in the woman you are now. Cheer her on so that she can grow into the best version of herself, even through this adversity.