Last February was a momentous month for the Halley family.
Breanna Halley was originally diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in May 2016, 22 days before her 25th birthday. Halley and her doctors responded quickly and after a grueling nine months of treatment — which included 17 rounds of chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, the removal of seven lymph nodes and then 34 radiation treatments — she announced she was cancer free.
Halley announced on her Facebook page Sunday that her cancer is back, however this time it has spread to her liver and spine.
“I almost made it a year,” she told the Sun Herald on Thursday about being in remission.
Just after the new year, Halley didn’t feel like herself.
“It was probably the weakest I’ve ever been,” she said. “I just knew something wasn’t right.”
Upon further examination, doctors noticed her calcium levels were extremely high. It was then they realized the cancer was back and had metastasized.
“(Doctors are) still kind of shocked. It really caught them off guard. They didn’t really know how to react. It really wasn’t anything they were expecting. They were expecting something else,” Halley said. “We’re still trying to figure it out day by day.”
After weighing their options, Halley began her first round of chemotherapy treatment on Monday. She said she’ll receive another treatment in three weeks. Around that same time, she’ll undergo a scan and they’ll re-evaluate her best treatment options.
“My biggest problem right now is because it’s going down my spine, I can’t walk or get around very well without a lot of pain,” she said. “The chemo has already helped some, but not 100 percent.”
Halley changed jobs this summer, moving from Our Lady Academy to Pass Christian’s school district, where she helps her mom, Greta Ainsworth, coach the girls basketball team. Her husband, Zach, is also a teacher at PCHS. She said the closeness of her family and the Pass community has certainly helped in the last month.
“They really have been helpful,” she said, adding that her fellow teachers send meals home with the Halleys multiple times a month.
When Halley announced her prognosis on Facebook, she simply asked for prayers.
“It’s not Him doing it to me. It’s just the way the world is. He’s just going to help me get through it the best I can,” she said. “It definitely helps. You can tell a difference day by day with the amount of people praying for you. It helps make it easier to get through treatments.
“Every little bit of prayer helps. I can feel it every day.”