Jon Gosselin‘s longterm girlfriend Colleen Conrad was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2021. Conrad revealed the devastating diagnosis in an Instagram post on August 8, 2021.
“I have been putting this off and debated even posting…I went for a mammogram on 4/15. I had put it off for almost [two-and-a-half years] due to lack of time and Covid and later got a call that a mass was found in my right breast. Everything after that happened so fast. Then on 4/21, I got the call that…confirmed it was cancer,” Conrad wrote in a candid Instagram caption.
Conrad revealed that she had Stage II, triple-negative breast cancer, but that she tested negative for the BRCA 1 and 2 gene. Along with her post, Conrad shared a few photos from before and after surgery. Despite the scary diagnosis, Conrad seemed to keep positive, and was smiling in all of her pictures.
Conrad and Gosselin have been dating for nearly seven years. Conrad did not thank Gosselin for his support in her post, nor did he comment or like the post, but the two do still follow each other on Instagram, and both have several photos together still live on the platform.
Here’s what you need to know:
Conrad Underwent a Single Mastectomy in July
After Conrad’s “surreal” diagnosis, she underwent surgery at Pennsylvania Medicine in Philadelphia to remove her right breast. She also chose to have a DIEP Flap procedure, which is defined as “a type of reconstruction that uses a woman’s own tissue to create a new breast after a mastectomy,” according to UCSF Health. Conrad described the DIEP Flap procedure as a “personal choice” and said that she’s “very happy with the outcome.”
During her surgery, doctors tested a couple of her lymphnodes, which is fairly standard procedure. If cancer cells are found in the lymphnodes, it means that the patient’s cancer has spread. Thankfully, for Conrad, her lymphnodes tested negative. For this reason, she revealed that her cancer was downgraded to Stage I.
She is still waiting to find out the results of her Oncotype test. “Oncotype DX is a test that predicts how likely breast cancer is to come back after surgery and the likely benefit of having chemotherapy. The test gives a score between 0 and 100, and people who score above a certain number are more likely to be offered chemotherapy,” according to Breast Cancer Now.
Conrad said that if her number is less than 25, she will not need chemotherapy.
“I was also lucky enough to have support through amazing friends and family but mostly my 2 kids Jesse and Jordan and my sister Debbie. Even though My sister was 1200 miles away. She was always there supporting me. I have one last surgery in about 2 months but I feel good,” she wrote in her Instagram caption.
Conrad Shared Her Breast Cancer Diagnosis in Hopes of Reminding People Not to Put off Their Mammograms
Conrad debated whether or not to share her breast cancer diagnosis and subsequent journey, but she ultimately decided to do so in hopes of encouraging women not to put off their mammograms.
“I think the first time it hit me and felt real is when I felt the lump myself in the shower. That was the first time I broke down and cried. I had not been doing monthly self-breast exams like I should have,” Conrad wrote.
“The reason I decided to post this was that I was lucky that it was caught early. And to remind everyone not to put off your mammograms and do your monthly breast exams. Set a monthly alarm if needed. Even men, who can also get breast cancer. Early detection will make the world of difference and give you a better fighting chance,” she added.