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Anne with an E actress, 19, opens up about of ‘one in a million’ breast cancer diagnosis

‘Anne with an E’ star Miranda McKeon shared her ‘one in a million’ breast cancer diagnosis this summer, revealing how an unusual lump turned out to be Stage 3 breast cancer.

At just 19 years old, Miranda headed back to the University of Southern California this fall to start her sophomore year, and is juggling her schoolwork with chemotherapy appointments.

Speaking to Good Morning America today, the teenager discussed how much she’d rather be in class than at the doctor, and opened up about deciding to undergo the egg freezing process as a ‘preventative safety net’ should she lose fertility during treatment.

Shocking: Miranda McKeon, who played Josie Pye on the Netflix series, revealed this summer that she had been diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer

Surprising: She says she 'just didn't feel like it was real' and 'as statistics go, the chances of having breast cancer at her age are 'one in a million'

Surprising: She says she ‘just didn’t feel like it was real’ and ‘as statistics go, the chances of having breast cancer at her age are ‘one in a million’

Career: Miranda (seen center) featured on the popular Netflix show Anne with an E for three seasons, between 2017 and 2019

Career: Miranda (seen center) featured on the popular Netflix show Anne with an E for three seasons, between 2017 and 2019

Speaking to People in July, Miranda explained that she had ‘brushed across a lump that [she] hadn’t felt before’ in June, and ‘immediately went to the worst case scenario’ in her head.

As it turned out, she was right to be worried: She soon learned that it was, in fact, cancer. 

‘I think it’s one of those movie-like moments in someone’s life,’ she told Good Morning America. ‘I just didn’t feel like it was real.’ 

But she did her best to remain optimistic, and shared her diagnosis on Instagram.

‘I am 19 and as statistics go — the chances of having breast cancer at this age are one in a million! (literally, look it up on Google) I am so special — but we knew this,’ she quipped.

Still, the months ahead would be tough.

Learning the truth: Miranda explained that she had 'brushed across a lump that [she] hadn't felt before' in June, and 'immediately went to the worst case scenario' in her head

Learning the truth: Miranda explained that she had ‘brushed across a lump that [she] hadn’t felt before’ in June, and ‘immediately went to the worst case scenario’ in her head

So it goes: Miranda has since undergone six rounds of chemo and has documented her progress on Instagram, sharing highs and lows

So it goes: Miranda has since undergone six rounds of chemo and has documented her progress on Instagram, sharing highs and lows 

The side effects are rough. In June, she wrote about being unable to sleep, losing her appetite, and 'lacking in emotions'

The side effects are rough. In June, she wrote about being unable to sleep, losing her appetite, and 'lacking in emotions'

The side effects are rough. In June, she wrote about being unable to sleep, losing her appetite, and ‘lacking in emotions’

Her emotions soon returned when she started thinking about the fact that she would lose her hair. 'Amidst a sobbing fit, my mom gently whispered, “you’re grieving," she said

Her emotions soon returned when she started thinking about the fact that she would lose her hair. ‘Amidst a sobbing fit, my mom gently whispered, “you’re grieving,” she said

‘Truthfully, results have been my worst enemy lately,’ she wrote in June. ‘They are like the mean girl in school — rude for seemingly no reason and frankly, just a b!#ch.’

Before starting treatment, Miranda learned that chemotherapy could negatively impact her fertility, and she was given the option of freezing her eggs.

‘It was explained to me that with chemotherapy treatment, there is risk of infertility down the line,’ she said. ‘And fertility was not something that I had ever considered.’

She went through with it, getting daily hormone injections and freezing her eggs in case she isn’t able to conceive naturally down the line.

That’s when chemotherapy started. So far, she has completed six rounds, and documents the start of each on Instagram.

‘I am spending every other Tuesday in the clinic while my friends are at class,’ she told GMA. ‘I’d rather be in class. I’d rather be doing a lot of different things. But this is my job right now.’

Prepared: She revealed that she underwent the egg freezing process as a 'preventative safety net' should she lose fertility during treatment

Prepared: She revealed that she underwent the egg freezing process as a ‘preventative safety net’ should she lose fertility during treatment

'I am spending every other Tuesday in the clinic while my friends are at class,' she told GMA. 'I'd rather be in class'

‘I am spending every other Tuesday in the clinic while my friends are at class,’ she told GMA. ‘I’d rather be in class’

'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?"' she said

 ‘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?”‘ she said

The side effects are rough. In June, she wrote about being unable to sleep, losing her appetite, and ‘lacking in emotions.’  

Her emotions soon returned when she started thinking about the fact that she would lose her hair.

‘Amidst a sobbing fit, my mom gently whispered, “you’re grieving,” she said. 

At the time, Miranda was home in New York City, and planned to attend USC remotely for the coming year — though she recently returned to the west coast. 

‘I am grieving the little moments. I am grieving the morning walks to the village to grab coffee with a friend, even though I don’t really like coffee. I am grieving being bored in class.

‘I am grieving the new friendships that might have formed. I am grieving the parties I will miss out on. I am grieving laying on the floor, laughing about the scooter ride home the night before and wondering how we made it with three people piled on the back of one tiny vehicle.

‘I am grieving the boys I might have kissed. I am grieving the laughter. I am grieving the normalcy,’ she said.

'I am grieving the soon to be loss of my hair. I am grieving the feeling of being beautiful in a “traditional manner,"' she said

‘I am grieving the soon to be loss of my hair. I am grieving the feeling of being beautiful in a “traditional manner,”‘ she said

'I am grieving the liberty of making my own schedule. I am grieving the endless list of things I will never know exist that I should be grieving,' she said

‘I am grieving the liberty of making my own schedule. I am grieving the endless list of things I will never know exist that I should be grieving,’ she said

‘I am grieving the soon to be loss of my hair. I am grieving the feeling of being beautiful in a “traditional manner”, the kind a college boy would recognize. I am grieving looking healthy. I am grieving feeling attractive.

‘I am grieving the liberty of making my own schedule. I am grieving the endless list of things I will never know exist that I should be grieving,’ she said.

By July, her hair was shedding, and she began covering up with head scarves and hats. 

Miranda, who played Josie Pye on the Netflix series Anne with an E, previously said that first receiving the news of her cancer was ‘surreal,’ and that she swiftly scheduled appointments for multiple procedures on the medical front, such as meetings with oncologists and surgeons, mammograms and ultrasounds.

‘My doctor was like, “Your stage doesn’t define you. And your cancer is your cancer,”‘ she said. ‘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. 

Brave: Miranda was initially home in New York City, and planned to attend USC remotely for the coming year — though she recently returned to the west coast

Brave: Miranda was initially home in New York City, and planned to attend USC remotely for the coming year — though she recently returned to the west coast

She added that the health battle has helped her discover an element of her inner strength

She added that the health battle has helped her discover an element of her inner strength

‘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?”‘ she said.

‘That was never really a thought. I think this entire time it’s been more of like, “Okay, we’re going to treat this and solve it.”‘  

‘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,’ she said. ‘But I’m making it my job to try and pull something out of this.’

She added that the health battle has helped her discover an element of her inner strength.

‘I feel like as humans, we look at other people in other situations and think, “Wow, how are they doing that?” Or, “Wow, I could never do that,”‘ she said. 

‘And I probably would have thought the same thing about myself, but here I am and I’m now living in this story and I think we can all handle a lot more than we think we can.’

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