Alexis Klimcheno had her second daughter, Athena, in 2021 and while breastfeeding she found a lump. She mentioned it to her OBGYN who determined it was a blocked milk duct. Months later, however, Alexis noticed the lump was still there so she told her PCP who sent her for more testing. Her self advocation would turn out to be live saving- testing confirmed Alexis had invasive ductal carcinoma. Days later she would find out that spots on her liver meant she was stage four.

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Five months out from diagnosis, the shock is still palpable. Alexis had no family history of breast cancer and at the time of diagnosis, she “felt the best I had been feeling post pregnancy and pandemic.” She started treatment in January of this year, which includes chemotherapy each week. With two children (Anastacia, 4 and Athena, 1) at home, her life has become a tricky balancing act: “none of this was in my plan, but I am learning as much as I can so I can make this situation better. I am the glue that holds this family together, so give me whatever you got because I need to be here for my daughters, husband and mom.”

Indeed, she credits “truly incredible” treatments like cold capping for helping to maintain normalcy amongst her family. Given that she has been able to retain a good portion of her hair, she has been able to keep her treatments mostly removed from her daughter’s lives. In the end, they are so young, her hope is to ensure they can continue living uninterrupted. Alexis has sought out support in the forms of Facebook groups and various organizations that have helped her to connect with other women facing the same battle and treatments. Adapting the “knowledge is power” mantra has allowed Alexis to be as educated as possible about various treatments and opportunities so that she can “make the right decisions to make sure I am around for my family long term.”

Despite her diagnosis, Alexis remains incredibly positive and focused on what remains most important to her- her family. It’s that energy we know will shine come October and we’ll be cheering her on as she continues to #keepdancing.