October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Soma® is here to support you. The most common of cancers in women, we all know someone who’s been affected by it. In the U.S., there are over 3.8 million breast cancer survivors, the National Breast Cancer Foundation tells us. In October, we are spotlighting the stories of just a few of these women. This week, we talked with breast cancer thriver and influencer, Nasreen Shahi, about her diagnosis journey.
When were you diagnosed?
NASREEN: I was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer at my first mammogram at the age of 40 years old.
How was the cancer initially detected?
NASREEN: I went in for my annual women’s well check and also needed a referral for my first mammogram. I had seen my doctor a year before and all was fine but at this appointment she did mention that my right breast felt a little different than my left and that since we were ordering a mammogram anyway, that we’d do a 3D just to make sure all is okay. She didn’t seem too concerned, but that quickly changed once the radiologist reviewed my mammogram. While I was on site, they requested I stay for more pictures. The radiologist graded my results as very high likelihood for breast cancer and I went for a biopsy just a few days later.
Is there a family history of breast cancer?
NASREEN: There is not a family history of breast cancer & I tested negative for BRCA and the other genetic testing that was done after my diagnosis.
How did you feel when you found out?
NASREEN: Shocked, devastated, confused, angry, and terrified. I was in the best shape of my life, felt amazing, and didn’t have a single symptom.
What have been the hardest obstacles you’ve overcome since diagnosis?
NASREEN: Learning to not live in fear has been the biggest challenge. The fear of the unknown can be really difficult, my cancer could come back at any time and although I’m in remission and my prognosis is looking really good, I can’t help but let my mind drift there some days. I just want to be here for my family and my young children, and I’ll do anything to make that happen.
What makes you feel beautiful when you’re getting ready?
NASREEN: When I’m feeling comfortable in my own skin, I feel pretty good. It’s been really hard watching the physical changes over the past year but I have learned that I am a lot stronger than I thought and I remind myself often that if this is the price to pay for fighting and beating this illness, I’d do it 10000x over.
“You are a lot stronger than you realize. You are NOT alone, and there’s an amazing community of women who are walking alongside you. And most importantly, do NOT give up hope.”–NASREEN
What’s most important to you when it comes to bra fit?
NASREEN: Comfort is key for me, especially after my double mastectomy and reconstruction. I need the fit to be on point so that I’m not always messing with the straps or adjusting it!
Did you use a Soma bra for post surgery or during treatment? If so, which one?
NASREEN: Yes! After surgery I used the Anaono bras sold by Soma, they were perfect for my recovery. Once I was able to switch to a non post surgical bra, I have really been loving the Enbliss bra. They are incredibly comfortable, give great shape, and the straps are very adjustable making them petite friendly as well!
What message would you want to give other women experiencing this?
NASREEN: Gosh, there’s so many things I want to say to them. It’s not your fault. You are a lot stronger than you realize. You can and will get through this. Staying positive and mentally strong will carry you through the darkest of days. You are NOT alone, and there’s an amazing community of women who are walking alongside you. And most importantly, do NOT give up hope.
Nasreen and Soma style expert Brandi Mercado went live on instagram earlier this week to share Nareen’s story. If you missed it, check out the inspiring interview below.