A 19-year-old Netflix star who was diagnosed with ‘one in a million’ stage 3 breast cancer has revealed that she is undergoing a double mastectomy in order to ‘get rid of any cancer’ left in her body after enduring grueling chemotherapy.
Teenage actress Miranda McKeon, who starred in the streaming site’s hit series Anne With an E, shared the latest news about her treatment plan on Instagram on Wednesday, just a few months after she first opened up about her shock diagnosis.
Posting an image of herself posing in front of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco – where she is undergoing surgery today – Miranda, who is a student at the University of Southern California, shared her positive outlook on the procedure, which doctors have said will leave her ‘cancer free’.
‘Today is the big day!!!’ she wrote. ‘I’ve arrived in SF to have the surgery that I’ve been anticipating for almost 5 months.
News: 19-year-old Anne With an E star Miranda McKeon has revealed she’s undergoing a double mastectomy, months after being diagnosed with ‘one in a million’ stage 3 breast cancer
Surprising: When Miranda first revealed her diagnosis, she said she ‘didn’t feel like it was real’ and noted ‘as statistics go’, the chances of having breast cancer at her age are ‘one in a million’
Hopeful: The actress, pictured while undergoing chemotherapy, said that the procedure will leave her ‘cancer free’ after she goes through radiation treatment
‘I’ll be having a double mastectomy – a procedure to remove all of the breast tissue under the skin on both sides as well as some lymph nodes on my right side. This will get rid of any cancer and significantly decrease my risk of reoccurrence in the future. This also means that I will be cancer free!’
The actress, who first revealed that she had been diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer this past summer after finding an unusual lump on her chest, went on to share a few more details about her procedure, explaining that she only settled on surgery after ‘tens of hours of meetings with surgeons’ and ‘so so so much research’.
She revealed that she is going to undergo a sensation preserving mastectomy, which leaves a woman with some feeling in her chest, unlike the more traditional version of the procedure, which often results in total numbness.
The actress also praised her doctors – surgeon Dr. Anne Peled, who specializes in breast, reconstructive, and plastic surgery, and Ziv M. Peled, MD, a board certified plastic surgeon and trained nerve surgeon – noting that she feels as though she has found the ‘perfect team’.
‘Whereas with traditional mastectomies, women are left mostly totally numb in their chest – I will have a sensation preserving mastectomy which is safe from an oncologic standpoint but more care is taken when cutting nerves and nerve grafts are done to reconstruct cut nerves,’ Miranda continued.
‘While it will certainly take a bit of time, I’m so grateful that I will return to looking and feeling like myself!’
Shocking: Miranda, who played Josie Pye on the Netflix series, underwent six rounds of chemotherapy before deciding to get a double mastectomy in San Francisco
Career: Miranda (center) featured on the popular Netflix show Anne with an E for three seasons, between 2017 and 2019
However, while Miranda will be ‘cancer free’ after her mastectomy, it is not the final step in her treatment plan, which she revealed will end with radiation therapy.
‘Today step 2/3 will be finalized with radiation to follow. As always, I can’t thank everyone enough for their continued support. The people in my life show up for me each and everyday in ways that are so tender and heartwarming. I’m one lucky girl!!!!!! T- 1 hour until surgery.’
Miranda’s candid post about her double mastectomy comes one month after she opened up to Good Morning America about her cancer battle, detailing her decision to freeze her eggs as a ‘preventative safety net’ should she lose fertility during treatment.
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.
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
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
Prepared: She revealed that she underwent the egg freezing process as a ‘preventative safety net’ should she lose fertility during treatment
‘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.
‘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.’
‘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 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
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.’