Mother of two sharing her breast cancer journey in hopes of helping others

Posted at 7:39 AM, Sep 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-30 09:00:51-04

At 30, Brooke Leblanc was living her best life.

She had just given birth to her second son and was getting ready to move from Colorado back home to Louisiana.

All seemed to be going according to plan.

"That's kind of a blessing in disguise," Leblanc said. "That it all kind of played itself that we were meant to be there in that time."

During a feeding, Leblanc noticed a knot under her arm. She thought it was a clogged milk duct, she had a history of those, Leblanc said she mentioned it to her doctor then began all of the usual remedies.

Acadiana mothers shares breast cancer journey

"Kind of massaging it, hot compresses, everything you would do for a clogged milk duct," Leblanc said.

The lump started to grow.

At that point, Leblanc knew it had to be something more than a clogged duct.

"We got it biopsies and found out that it was cancer," Leblanc said.

She said her head started to spin, as she began to make a list of things that she needed to get done.

First, stop breastfeeding her four-month-old baby.

"When I got diagnosed, they were like you have to stop breastfeeding tonight," Leblanc said.

Next, she needed to move back home to Louisiana and get the care she needed.

"We had other grandparent support that every time I had treatment they would take the boys for the night," Leblanc said. "After treatment I would have to go home, and rest and I didn't want them to see me like that. I'd rather them go and have days with their grandparents, which is what their relationships are for, too."

Those months of treatment were grueling.

Acadiana mother sharing breast cancer journey

Leblanc was also diagnosed during Covid which presented its own set of challenges.

"It was super lonely because I couldn't have visitors," Leblanc said. "After every treatment my family would drive by with posters...being like round 2 done, round one, done!"

That encouragement, along with a video diary of her experience helped her get through the tough times. Leblanc turned to Instagram to document her thoughts and fears.

"It was very much a journaling process of me figuring out what I needed that day and what I needed to let out that day," Leblanc said. "It was helpful for my family members to read. Things that I could write better than put into words. It made me feel like people were around me, or just hearing that was really important to me...not feeling as lonely."

While the reason behind the videos was to just help herself get through, Leblanc realized she has been a help to others face whatever comes there way.

"It was more therapeutic to me of putting my stuff out there and hearing people's feedback," Leblanc said. "It made me feel like I had people around me at all times."

Two years out from the diagnosis, Leblanc is now cancer free but says she still deals with cancer--just in a different aspect.

Breast Cancer

"My immune system is different, my body is a little different, you deal with a lot of side-effects hat people aren't aware of," Leblanc said. "Just because you're done with treatment doesn't mean you're done with the journey."

Statistics show that only 7 percent of women with breast cancer are diagnosed before the age of forty.

80 percent of those diagnosed find the breast abnormality themselves.

Dr. Jean Brierre with Our Lady of Lourdes said doing self-exams and knowing your body is your best defense against breast cancer or any other type of disease.

"If it doesn't feel right, you shouldn't just pass it off and shouldn't attribute it to a cyst or menstrual period," Brierre said. "There are tests that we can do, such as ultrasounds, a mammogram may be performed, and then there's also breast MRI imaging. Sometimes we have to do a biopsy to make sure it's a benign condition and not "cancer."

For more information on breast cancer: