From what she could remember, Bianca answered all of her daughter’s “whys” that day about the weather. When they got home, Bianca wrote it all down, sent it to her sister-in-law, who is a science teacher to confirm her accuracy, and then set them off to find a publisher. She was going to write a children’s book.
“I’ve always written,” Bianca said. “I find myself writing down these little conversations we have and end up writing stories about them.”
Although growing up, she never thought she had a foothold on grammar and didn’t think she was good enough to write. But she had two professors from college in the back of her head pushing her forward. Her philosophy professor told her that when it comes to writing papers, start broad, and work your way in. And, that’s what she did.
Going back and forth, she finally settled on a publishing company, Brown’s Books, in Dallas. She was able to choose from a list of illustrators, and in 2015, Little Quinn the Inquisitor went to print.
But, such is life, and Bianca’s was about to have a few roadblocks. During this interim time of needing to market her book, working full-time, and going back to school, Bianca found a lump in her breast. Doctors confirmed her suspicions in early January 2018. She was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer, with a 30% survival rate.
She started her rigorous treatment plan in March 2018.
“I don’t like surgery, and I don’t even like taking medication,” Bianca said. “So, going through chemo was like my kryptonite.”
For 16 weeks, she had to endure weekly rounds of Paclitaxel and Carboplatin, then another few weeks of treatment that could literally take down Superman. The chemo upped her heart rate and messed with her vision. She was also constantly dehydrated and couldn’t stand to eat.
During this time, she says the Harvest community really supported her.
They set up a meal train for her and her family; neighbors would bring over gift cards to restaurants and were continuously showering her with things she needed.
“They have a really great support group in the neighborhood for people who have cancer,” Bianca said. “It is run by a woman who previously had breast cancer, and she answered a lot of the questions that I had.”
Bianca finished chemotherapy in August 2018 and had a double mastectomy the following month. When asked to look back after the diagnosis and describe how she felt, she said she was angry for a long time.
“Maybe at myself,” Bianca hesitated. “I thought there was something I could have done differently.”
She analyzed everything. Was it from the hot water being poured over plastic in her Keurig machine? Was it too much sugar? Or, was it from the gas wells seeping into the drinking water?
Doctors aren’t sure where triple-negative breast cancer comes from. It isn’t hormone-related. The hope is that no woman has breast cancer, but one doctor told Bianca that out of the different types, triple-negative isn’t the one you want.
“I was beating myself up mentally over it all because I am a research person,”
Bianca said. “I go and analyze and look for the answer. But, in this case, there was no answer.”
Despite everything she has gone through, she has convinced herself to stop looking.
“I just want to live, and I want to be happy,” Bianca said. “And, if I want to be happy, then I have to stop searching for the answers that aren’t there.”
After her fight against triple-negative breast cancer, Bianca’s new fight is for herself. She wants to do something that is important to her. She loves learning, reading, writing, and maybe one day, becoming a professor. And, hopefully, writing another book.
She is starting broad and working her way in.
Cancer isn’t a one size fits all, Bianca says. Not even the treatment. She is open to answering questions about cancer because she wants to pay-it-forward.
When she gets asked, “why?” Well, because sometimes, the sky cries.
Bianca goes back every three months for scans to make sure she is still living without cancer. She is currently enrolled in classes at UTA and lives in Harvest with her husband, Justin, and their daughters, Taylor and Gemma.
You can find Bianca’s children’s book, Little Quinn the Inquisitor on Amazon.
photo courtesy of Bianca Gouge | photo courtesy of Amazon.com, Brown Books Kid, Bianca Gouge.