BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and one local survivor speaks out.

Lindsey McCombie was only 29 years old when she was diagnosed at Louisiana Women’s Healthcare. She said a yearly exam saved her life.

“I had a double mastectomy and that was a pretty big surgery. It put me down for a while. The hardest thing with that was I had a two and four-year-old at home and you don’t realize how much you hold your children until you can’t hold them anymore,” said McCombie.

Fighting through tears, McCombie shared her incredible story of survival and how difficult it was to explain her diagnosis to her kids.

“Trying to go through that, explain that I can’t hold my children anymore, getting sick and losing my hair, that was a whole different issue with them,” said McCombie.    

McCombie was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer in the middle of the pandemic. It was 2020 and she was due for her annual exam at Louisiana Women’s Healthcare. It’s located inside the Woman’s Hospital building.

“So I came in and it was just my checkup with Dr. Boudreaux and as she was going through the motions, she felt a lump,” said McCombie.

Doctor Rebecca Boudreaux recommended a biopsy and McCombie was able to get it scheduled that same day. After her diagnosis, it was an uphill battle for about six months.

“I had to recover from the chemo, and then I had reconstruction surgery and now I’m on Tamoxifen. I’m just trying to navigate this new normal because I will never be who I was before. My mom would take the kids for the weekend, but it was honestly my kids that helped push me through being sick,” said McCombie.  

Her mother also played a significant role in her recovery. Laurie Lejeune said she was surprised to hear of her daughter’s diagnosis because she has never had breast cancer. She said she is grateful for Dr. Rebecca Boudreaux because she saved her child’s life.

“Every time I see Dr. Boudreaux, I cry. She saved her life. The kind of cancer she has is invasive. I pray for her all the time. She is forever in my prayers,” said Laurie Lejeune, Lindsey’s mother.  

Meanwhile, Doctor Boudreaux said seeing Lindsey alive with her mother is a great feeling.

“Knowing that you touched at least one person in your life and knowing you can help others is a phenomenal feeling,” said Dr. Boudreaux, Louisiana Women’s Healthcare.   

As McCombie mentioned she now takes Tamoxifen, but she is grateful to be alive.

“I’m just so thankful to be here honestly,” said McCombie.  

The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommends mammograms for women starting at the age of 40. However, Dr. Boudreaux recommends patients get screened at 35.