Micha Logan was enjoying her young 30’s and a career as a radio host when unexpectedly, her doctor found a lump at an annual exam. Micha joins today’s episode to share wisdom and insight resulting from her breast cancer journey.
In May of 2013, at the age of 31, my life changed forever. I was diagnosed with stage 2 invasive ductal carcinoma breast cancer. How could this be? I was too young, so I thought. It didn’t run in my family and I was very healthy. I started chemo in June 2013, and after 18 long weeks, 2 lumpectomies, and 37 rounds of radiation…I am proud to say this year I will be celebrating 4 years of being cancer-free. I had cancer but it do not have me!
About 4% of all breast cancers in the US occurs in women under 40. While it is not common in this age group, a breast cancer diagnosis is shocking for young women and the prognosis tends to be worse in women under 40 than in older women. Breast cancers in younger women are more likely to be fast-growing higher grade in hormone receptor-negative, which all make breast cancer more aggressive here today to tell us her story and why it’s so important to know your body is Micha Logan, Micha, Welcome to the show.
Hi, thank you for having me.
I’m so happy to get to know you and see your very smiling face. Tell us a little bit about yourself and about your breast cancer diagnosis.
Well, I am originally from Detroit, Michigan, and I ventured on down to Huntsville, Alabama in 2000 where I attended Oakwood College, now the Oakwood University and graduated in 2004. And I started working at a radio station, the local hip hop and R&B station. I worked there for years and at the age of 31, I was having some issues with my body. I was going back and forth to the OB-GYN, trying to get my birth control together. You know, for me, I felt like if I’m on birth control, I should not have a seven day period. Like what’s going on here. And so we were trying to figure that out well and trying to figure that out. It led to my annual and with my annual, I go in and they’re filling around and they asked that infamous question that, you know, we, ladies, we always get this, are you doing your at-home breast checks?
And I was sure, you know, like, you don’t want to say no, but then it’s like, you know, it’s a no, but you know, she’s feeling around. And she was like, Hmm. And then she wants to do the other breast. And she was like, Hmm. And I’m looking at her, like, what’s all these Hmms? And she went and got my doctor. It was the nurse practitioner, got my doctor. We finished the exam. They came back in and did another fill around, you know what? We need to send you to our breast doctor to get a mammogram now, to be perfectly honest, I didn’t even know how to spell the word. I didn’t know what they were talking about. What is happening here? I was so displaced from what was kind of being told to me that I left the address to Dr. Scott’s office at my OB-GYN.
And they called me the next morning. And they were like, Hey, you left the address. We need you to go here and make sure you’re on time. I get to Dr. Scott’s office. And it was like, where am I? I didn’t even understand this. I see this machine. And you know, they tell you to go into this room, get dressed, take a deodorant like this. This was a whole lot. And so they took these pictures of my breast and they kept taking pictures. I’m not a very large chested woman. So for me, I’m like, you can’t get this on the first try. Like, what’s really good. And so she was like, Hey, I need you to come back for a biopsy. And I was like bi-what? Okay. They’re using a lot of words and terms that, you know, I watched Grey’s Anatomy, and that’s about as far as my medical knowledge went.
So I called one of my home girls and was like, Hey, have you ever had to have a biopsy? She said, Oh yeah, girl. She was like, it’s nothing, you know, that’s like a little needle in you take a look, test and you’ll be fine. I was like, okay, fine. So I go in for the biopsy we’ll because it’s the end of the week. We won’t be able to tell you your results till Monday. And I was like, man, I got to go all these days until I’m like, what am I supposed to do? So I do what I usually do when I’m stressed. I just clean and reorganize things. So I did that my whole, the whole weekend, Monday, I’m at work on air, not thinking anything of it and my phone rings and it’s Dr. Scott. And I’m like, Oh, Hey, I answer because in my mind, she’s not about to tell me anything that I don’t want to hear.
Because I’m 31. I’m fine. And she say, you know, hi Micah, we’ve tested two areas. One of them, you know, find them benign, but there’s another area. And all I heard was cancerous stays too. And I just completely shut down because I’m looking at my computer and I’m saying, Oh, I have a break to do because I’m lying. I’m on the radio. And I was like, well, can you hold on for a second? And I do my break and I get back on the phone and she’s still talking and I don’t hear anything. She’s saying the last thing I heard her say was, can you be down in my office at four o’clock. I immediately get off the phone with her. And I call my pastor and I am hysterical. And I’m like, pastor AB I don’t, you know, like I’m telling him he’s just quiet…
And he was headed to Nashville if I remember correctly, and he pulled over and he was like, I need you to call your family. And I didn’t want to call my family because we had just gone through so much as a family for me to have to call and tell them this. I just felt like, I know this will break my parents. Like this is like it. He was like, you have to call your parents. So I did. And my dad just, he just started crying and my mom was like, what’s going on? Grabs the phone. And they’re like, we’re on our way. Mind you, they’re in Detroit. I’m in Alabama. They’re like, we’re getting on a plane right now. And I’m like, no, no, no, no, no. At the time my grandmother was in Alabama, and a few of my cousins. And I was like, I’ll just get them to go with me and they’ll keep you guys informed.
I went and told my boss and he saw it in my face. He had just recently lost his mom to a specific cancer. And I was kind of letting him know what was going on because he had just lost his mom. I was just letting him know as soon as I walked in his office because he said, go take the week off. And I remember going down to the Dr. Scott’s office again, I was so displaced. My aunt took notes. My grandmother took notes. I was sitting in that room so numb. I remember, you know, them giving a plan. And my doctor, all she kept saying was, I don’t understand. She’s young. She doesn’t drink. She doesn’t smoke. It’s not in her family history. We’re going to do more tests. I don’t understand. And my doctor literally started crying because he never had a patient as young as me before.
So for her, it was what is going on. And I’m looking at her like, well, if you don’t understand, how am I supposed to understand this? Right. I went home and my, my aunt and grandmother, they tried to take me out to eat. And I was just like, you know, I called my pastor back. I gave him an update and he was like, you’re gonna fight it. You’re gonna win. You’re gonna fight it. It’s okay. You know, he was as encouraging as he could be just as confused. Right. I remember going home and I just sat. And my boss remember my said, my boss gave me a week off, but I couldn’t do that. The next day I was at work. I, I couldn’t sit it, wasn’t, it wasn’t the way I’m a thinker. And I would have thought myself crazy. So that, that’s how I discovered 31 years old and basic ductal carcinoma, stage two on the verge of stage three. And they had to move fast. That was in May of 2013.
Wow. Wow. Thank you for really expressing an interest, sharing the emotion of that. Right. I can just only imagine how how difficult that must’ve been. And, and I know I know that you’ve been, you’ve often said that breast cancer is not no longer grandmother’s disease. Right? tell, tell us what you mean by that.
I mean, once I came to grips, you know, I started my chemo in June. It was 18 weeks of a heavy cocktail and I didn’t want to let my listening audience know immediately. I wanted to kind of embrace the process. I only let certain people know that I was going through it. And once I did make the announcement, a lot of people started reaching out. And when people, when I say a lot of people, a lot of younger women, I could not believe the number of young women that were going through this silently with no type of help. They didn’t have a conversation for them because the conversation has always been 45+. And here I am 31, but I’m talking to girls younger than me, who’ve gone through double mastectomies? And I’m like, you’re in your twenties. Girls who’ve gone through getting it not once, but twice, that was crazy to me. And I’m like, there’s no conversation about this. And I’m like the young women. That’s what I’m saying. It’s not, they weren’t grandmothers. They weren’t the old lady at the church. They weren’t the old woman sitting at the park, you know, reading her book, feeding the birds. These are women in college. These are women that love to travel. These are young mothers. These are women that are at the height of their careers, just finishing college, working at the mall. But no, there’s no conversation for them. They don’t have an outlet we did not have. And we still don’t have an outlet even to this day is not talked about it’s still 45+ for mammograms. The faces that you see are always women that are older and I’m like, hello?
Right. That’s right. That’s right. We need to get your face on the billboard. Then I think that that’d be a good start. You’ve got a nice smile. So, well, I mean, well, speaking of that, right? I mean, how do we, how do we start to change that? How do we, how do we engage this conversation and bring this conversation to the public?
It’s just starting it, making younger women feel that they have a platform that’s for them making them feel like they have a safe place to share their stories, making them feel like, okay, I’m not alone in this. Making them feel like, Hey, you might be young, but you can still live your life. You can still be cute. You can still, you know, have fun. You just have to do it in a way. Let me tell you, I didn’t miss a baby shower, a birthday party, a family trip. Now I might’ve been sleeping a corner. I might’ve had it. You know, like I remember my family trip. We went to Hawaii. I had to get two chemo treatments back to back. And it literally wore me out for half the trip. But that trip to Hawaii was the last family trip that I was able to take with my father before he died years later, creating memories because here’s the thing, I didn’t know what was going to happen to me, but I wanted to live. And so to let them know like, yo, you might be young, but you can live and fight this because here’s the thing. Not only are young women getting it, we get it aggressively. Like it’s harder for us to fight against it, which is crazy to me.
That’s crazy. And you’re right. It is more aggressive and all the more reason that we need to make sure that this is brought to people’s attention that we’re paying attention, right? Yeah, for sure. Well, so tell me a little bit about self image and how you’re able to process through going through the side effects of treatment and just all of the difficulties surrounding that.
Okay. So for me, I was a public figure. Even though during radio, I still had appearances. People knew who I was, you know, I wasn’t, I wasn’t in a secret running around the city. They knew who I was. I remember when my hair started falling out, it was right after my first year unit. I was sitting at work about to do another break. And I put my hands through my hair and I mind you at the time I had a short haircut. It was long on one side, shorter than the other. And in my mind, I’m thinking like the shorter, my hair is the less, it will fall out, absolutely wrong. I put my hand through my hair and it was a big glob of hair in my hand. And I freaked out. I called my mother first and she was of no help. Bless her heart.
I called my dad and my dad was like, baby girl, go to the barbershop. I said, huh? He said, why would you watch it happen and not get in front of it? You will be fine. He was on call one of the, one of your friends and have them go with you. Then after that, I called past ID and past ID said, I agree with your dad, go to the barbershop. And I did. And I went to the barbershop and I’m sitting in the barbershop. And ironically, I never been to this barber before. I never had to really go to a Barbara Barbara like that. And his wife had literally just gone through chemotherapy. So he, I didn’t know this. When I made the appointment, he already had a sensitivity to it. And so we’re sitting there and someone in the barbershop was like, wait, aren’t you the girl from the radio.
And I was like, yeah. And they were like, yo, where are you cutting all your hair off? And I was like, well, and he was like, yo, you gotta, you gotta share that. You got people got to see you. They gotta know that they can do this. And I’m looking at him like, Hey, I’m just trying to get through this myself. I’m trying to get used to looking at myself. And that same week I had to do a self-image workshop for some little girls. And I had to encourage them, even in the midst of what I was going through. And what they didn’t understand was that they were more encouraging to me than I could have been to them in any capacity. So what I did was when I cut off, when I cut off all my hair, I went and got some accessories, some cute accessories and some cute glasses and some cute hats.
We had a big event that weekend. And that was like my first time being out bald people just thought that I did something crazy with my hair. And again, they didn’t know, I hadn’t really been vocal about it. But it wasn’t until my last chemo treatment before I was starting radiation that like my eyebrows and eyelashes really fell out. And I remember looking in the mirror and crying because to me that was the first time I really looked like a quote unquote cancer patient. And for just a moment, it literally broke me. But the crazy thing about it was I had an event to go to. I had to like literally get up, get myself together and make it work. One thing that I realized you got to really love yourself and all your natural beauty when you’re going through this, because I got cancer in the summer, there was a wearing a wig in Alabama.
Absolutely not. So I had to really be comfortable and confident in my skin and what I was going through. And a lot of that was helped from my dad. My mom, I had great friends. I had to learn how to do. I don’t, I wasn’t like the makeup girl, but my makeup artist, she took me to the store and created a makeup back for me. And I thought that that was the dopest thing. Like she literally walked me through so fora and got me things that I could do every day and all while saying, but you know, you don’t need this. Right. And I was like, yeah, no, but I am in my thirties. And I should know how to at least put on some foundation. It was things like that. Me having to be out kind of forced me to really be out. And it’s not about the vanity. It’s about really loving who you are from the inside out. And just sitting in that, embracing that. And no matter how superficial the world can be, you’re literally sitting in your home with no eyelashes, no eyebrows. You might have thrash in your mouth. Your bones are hurting, no hair. I had to start looking at the positives. So like, I didn’t have any hair anywhere. So I was like, oh shoot, I don’t have to shave or wax. Plus the first shower that I took with a bald head, I was like, Oh my goodness, this is where men go through. I would say in the shower forever! I was looking at the positives of what the negatives was. And that was my outlook throughout my entire journey.
Wow. That’s a great outlook. Great outlook. And Micha I mean your story is just amazing. Inspiring your whole attitude and outlook on it. It’s just so, so inspiring. So to wrap up I want to know what advice do you have for our listeners in particularly for our younger listeners.
I can’t stress this enough, ladies, please do your at-home self-checks. This is something like when they ask you that when you go to your annual, tell them the truth. If you feel anything, you know, after your cycle, before your cycle, it takes like literally five seconds. You’re already in the shower. You’re already lathering up. Do the self check, check around, know your body, feel around. If anything feels crazy, call your doctors and don’t let them tell you, Oh, you’re too young to get. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. I want this also know your family history. Oftentimes we don’t know our family history until someone dies and at the funeral, we’re like, so wait, how did they know what’s going on? But on both sides, know how it can affect you. Do your research. Don’t be scared of knowledge. A lot of people than not know the no, no, please, no, please, no.
It’s happening to younger women and African-American women. We may get it less, but we die from it more. And that, that triple negative is nothing to play with. I was blessed that I didn’t have to go through that, but there’s so many African-American women that do. And a lot of it just comes from, you know, not early, you know, early detection definitely does save lives. Can you imagine if I didn’t go to my annual that year, if I would have waited another year, I would have been at stayed for, keep up with your doctor’s appointments. Don’t let anything, anybody let you miss your annual goals. They are important because within a year’s time from one annual to the next a tumor was growing in me. Well, my biggest advice is please do yourself checks, know your bodies and know your family history. And don’t be afraid to ask questions and also know that whatever you’re faced with you can live. I had cancer. Cancer did not have me.
Wow, Micah. Again, I love your output. I love your energy. I can see why people are drawn to listening to you.
Thank you for having me. I really do appreciate the conversation I do. And I look forward to having more conversations and doing more to help younger women. No matter how old I get, I want to be a voice to help younger women know that they can get through.
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