For Aubrey Glencamp, Valentine’s Day 2016 was just a day like all the rest; until his wife, Stephanie, playfully swatted him on the chest, then asked, “What is this bump?” Aubrey hadn’t noticed the hard, little knot in his left pec and was immediately concerned so he called his doctor and made an appointment for that same week.
“I’d been working out and losing a lot of weight, so my doctor thought it was just fatty tissue.” Aubrey explains. “He didn’t think it was anything major, but scheduled a mammogram, just to be on the safe side. That’s when I really started to worry.”
Aubrey knew that men could get breast cancer, but the thought that he might have it never crossed his mind as he prepared for his very first mammogram. He could tell the facility didn’t perform a lot of mammograms on men.
“The mammogram was very eye opening and I have a lot of respect for the ladies that have to do it. At the facility, the women had their own locker rooms and robes. I was told to just sit in the hallway until it was my turn.”
After his doctors reviewed the results, they wanted him to come in for a biopsy. “I wasn’t thinking too much,” Aubrey remembers. “I’d joined a bootcamp and was focused on winning the Biggest Loser competition, so I asked if I could wait to do my biopsy the next week, so I could finish. I ended up winning the contest, then I went for my biopsy. Two days later they called to tell me I had breast cancer…and it was Stage Two.”
Aubrey was diagnosed with HER2 breast cancer, an aggressive form of the disease. His doctors leapt into action and the surgery to remove the tumor was scheduled for a month later. After some discussion, it was decided that removing the left breast entirely was a better option. His doctors also advised him to visit a fertility clinic before he began his post-surgery chemo treatments, but time slipped away and Aubrey never made it there.
Maybe because God already had something spectacular in store for him? “That’s the best part. I didn’t have time to go, but two days before surgery, we found out my wife was pregnant.”
On April 6, 2016, Aubrey had a bilateral mastectomy along with removal of three lymph nodes. “There’s always that fear of it coming back, which is why I had them remove the other breast.” he recalls.
Aubrey is a fighter and always has been. At 19, he had surgery to remove a tumor around his heart and was fitted with an internal defibrillator, which limited his options for chemo and radiation. But he handled that set back like he usually does…with a positive attitude and a big smile.
It’s been two years since Aubrey’s diagnosis and surgery. He takes Tamoxifen, which is used to treat breast cancer and gets a check-up every six months. He still races, strives to be the best dad he can be and inspires others with his amazing spirit.
— Written by Tamara Devers
Don’t miss next week’s post on Lillian’s Top 10 Self-Care tips.