Tell Your Story – California during the time of COVID-19

Tell Your Story - Kimberly, San Diego
My chemo-COVID look: a mask to keep me safe, a headscarf to keep my bald head warm. This was taken in the lobby of my oncologist’s office at UCSD, waiting for my chemotherapy infusion appointment to start, May 22, 2020


Kimberly, San Diego

“On April 7th, two weeks after my two young boys started online learning and three weeks into a statewide lockdown, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I couldn’t feel a lump! How was this possible?! I had gone to see my doctor for my yearly exam, and had my first mammogram. I’m 41, without a family history of BC and this cancer was an aggressive form. I was given the diagnosis over Zoom, and was tasked with building a medical team from my couch—while trying to teach my four-year-old to spell his name. I didn’t have enough information to Google except “breast cancer” (which is horrifying once you actually have it).

“During the hysteria of being told staying home would save my life from COVID, I now had to leave my home and go into a hospital to save my life. I started chemotherapy and immunotherapy within a month. In order to start and continue treatment, I had to be tested for COVID every 14 days. I always got my results within 24 hours. I had chemo every two weeks, and my follow-up MRI on June 25 showed the tumor had melted away. The chemo worked. I had a lumpectomy on July 9th and the biopsies showed I had had a ‘complete pathological response.’ I was cancer free. I still can’t believe it.”

Kimberly, 41
San Diego

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