Women's Health

College Student with Breast Cancer Didn't Miss a Single Class

College Student with Breast Cancer Didn't Miss a Single Class

Like most seniors in college, Colleen Cappon stayed up late to study with friends or party on campus. She lived with roomies in an apartment, and life was really good. The 21-year-old was about to graduate; the last thing on her mind was the possibility of having cancer.

Just before starting her senior year, Colleen found out that she had stage 2B breast cancer. She was just getting ready to go out with some friends when she felt a lump in her breast. She called the lump a "boob scoop" in her bra. At first, she felt a little worried but brushed it off quickly as something not to be too concerned about. However, Colleen was smart to think to check with her doctor. A quick ultrasound revealed a mass of dense cells creating a lump.

At first, no one was concerned about Colleen's breast lump

The doctor didn't think it was anything too concerning either. After all, most lumps and bumps that young women find in their breasts turn out to be benign. Colleen was told that it was probably a fibroadenoma, a dense collection of scar tissue that is extremely common in young women. It's completely normal and nothing at all to worry about. But just to be on the safe side, the doctor told Colleen to come back and get the mass removed.

Colleen's gut instincts told her to get her lump taken out sooner rather than later

Originally, Colleen's mass removal was scheduled for after winter break. That was months away, and she had yet to start the school year. So she thought, why wait until after Christmas? Let's do it now! It seemed like the perfect way to get the lump out of the way and avoid any headaches before picking up school again. So, Colleen had her mass removed earlier than scheduled. Turns out that her gut instincts served her well. The mass turned out to be cancerous.

Colleen had to get through chemotherapy while finishing up classes

Though she was able to nip cancer in the bud, Colleen wasn't home free quite yet. Though she had her entire senior schedule planned out and a new apartment lease signed with friends, she needed to go through chemotherapy. The sooner she started her treatment the better. So Colleen worked with her doctors to create a treatment plan soon after her lump removal. Every other Thursday, Colleen had to drive 2 hours from school to get to her parent's house. Friday, she would go through chemotherapy and spend the weekend at home recovering before heading back to school on Sunday night.

Having to miss out on college life was hard

It was tough for Colleen to have to miss out on those weekends from her college life. As a very social and outgoing person, having to undergo chemo while being a senior in school was tough. She knew that there were memories that she was missing out on, and it wasn't good for her mental health. The loneliness was having an impact on her positive attitude and overall health.

Read on to learn more about Colleen's passionate fight against breast cancer

Photo credit: People