Actress Miranda McKeon said she is trying “to find the beauty in all of this” as she started chemotherapy after being diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 19.
The Anne With An E star revealed last month that she is suffering from a rare form of cancer, and said the chances of a diagnosis at her age are “one in a million”.
She told US magazine People that she discovered a lump on her breast when she was in the bathroom adjusting her shirt while spending the weekend at a beach house with friends.
She added: “I had the thought that ‘Wow, this is the moment.’ I immediately went to the worst-case scenario.
“This is the moment where everything changes and there’s no going back, but after going down a little Google rabbit hole, my mind was at ease because I didn’t think anything could be wrong because of my age.”
However, McKeon went to the doctor and then had an ultrasound and a biopsy on the lump.
She said: “I think they were more concerned than they let on because I really didn’t think anything of it, to the point where I flew to San Francisco, where I was going to do a three-week work stay programme on regenerative agriculture.
“I had just touched down in San Francisco and all my messages were coming through and I got the call that the biopsy came back positive.”
McKeon, who is best known for playing Josie Pye in the Netflix drama Anne With An E, a reimagining of the Anne Of Green Gables story, said her cancer is at stage three, because it has spread to her lymph nodes, but she is trying not to focus on that.
She continued: “My doctor was like ‘Your stage doesn’t define you. And your cancer is your cancer.’ Which I appreciate because, when you hear someone’s stage, your mind goes straight to one place or another and I don’t think that’s necessarily representative of what I’m going through.
“Although I don’t have the easiest case scenario – like I wish it hadn’t spread to my lymph nodes or that it was a little less complicated – I never had a moment where I was like ‘Oh, am I going to die from this?’ That was never really a thought.
“I think this entire time it’s been more of like ‘OK, we’re going to treat this and solve it.’”
The teenager, who will have four months of chemotherapy, said the day after she received her diagnosis she was encouraged to freeze her eggs.
She said: “It’s a safety net.
“I’ll probably be able to have kids naturally on my own and hopefully they’ll just be donated to science in however many years, but we’ll see.”
She began chemotherapy on July 7 and said she is “managing as best as I can”.
She added: “I’m making it my job to find the beauty in all of this.
“I wouldn’t have chosen this, I didn’t choose this, I don’t think anyone would choose this, but I’m making it my job to try and pull something out of this.”