Help send 6 Young Breast Cancer Survivors on a much needed getaway, next month. (We’re hoping to send them on an all inclusive trip to Punta Cana) You can make a donation via https://www.crowdrise.com/youngbcsurvivorgetaway/fundraiser/shaysharpespinkwishe.
• At the age of 13, I was diagnosed with osteosarchoma (bone cancer). The tumor was located in the lower part of my thigh, in the distal femur area and was the size of a baseball. During that time, I underwent 1 year of chemotherapy, a total knee replacement, and several sessions of physical therapy. Since then, I have had 3 knee surgeries to adjust the prosthesis in my right leg. Before being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, I had been in remission for almost 20 years.
At the age of 31, I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer and started my 2nd battle with cancer. When I found out that I had breast cancer, I immediately thought about my daughter who was 5 at the time. Being a single mother is hard and when you are sick, you are still mommy and on mommy duty no matter what. I knew the battle I had to fight, so I fought it and by the grace of God I won! I beat cancer for a 2nd time! God has blessed me with life and I am trying to live it. Being able to go on this trip with the other survivors would give me the opportunity to do just that. ~ Tameka
• My name is Anglecia Edwards but I go by the name Glee. I was diagnosed with having breast cancer at the age of 31. I was stage 3 HER2 positive and my cancer had spread to my lymph nodes near the breast that was affected by the cancer. The things that I’ve experienced during my breast cancer journey has been life changing for me. The hardest change that I experienced was losing my job. I loved my job and you rarely hear people say that. My FMLA was exhausted and by the time I fully healed from having my breast removed (bilateral double mastectomy), my position was no longer available. I cried and I was angry. How was I suppose to live, take care of my son, and pay my bills? I had so many questions but God was there to place the right people in my life to give me the answers. I’m currently still not working due to the side-effects of my breast cancer treatments but I’m enrolled in school full-time taking online classes.
I have days that are really great but I have days that are bad. I need this vacation because I haven’t had the opportunity to travel. I got smacked with this awful disease and I’ve never been on an airplane. After everything I went through, I deserve a great vacation. This is my time to live my life to the fullest because as I write this, you know that cancer couldn’t stop me. I just want to enjoy my new life. ~ Glee
• At the age of 42 I was diagnosed with breast cancer in my left breast. There was no lump, just a routine mammogram. Suddenly I was faced with some of the most important yet difficult decisions of my life. Mastectomy or lumpectomy? Single mastectomy or double mastectomy? Radiation therapy? Reconstruction? Implants or flat and fabulous? TRAM flaps vs. LAT flaps? Whew, talk about stressed! I had many a sleepless nights and lots of prayer sessions. I was in constant conversation with God. Believing that I had one healthy breast left I opted for single mastectomy with immediate reconstruction. After 6 weeks of healing and lots of doctors appointments I choose to have breast reduction on my right breast, which probably saved my life, because it lead to my second breast cancer diagnosis.
Yup, 6 months after my first breast cancer diagnosis I was diagnosed a second time. I’m a mom of 3 and my youngest was a year old at the time of my first diagnosis and now here we were again, more doctors, more surgery, more drains, more pain and more stress. I’ve had more surgeries than I care too and more scars than I’d like but I’m truly blessed to be here. I’m ready to just be able to take a deep breath and exhale slowly, let the sun shine on my face and wiggle my toes on a nice sandy tropical beach! ~ Charlene
• In August 2004, at the age of 26, I was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer. My diagnosis, couldn’t be true! Young women don’t get beast cancer, only older women, thats why you have to wait until age 40 to get a mammogram. Boy, was I wrong!
These past 10 years have been filled with so many obstacles, including numerous life changing surgeries, negative side effects, hospital stays, thousands of pills, hundreds of doctor appointments, needle sticks, thousands of dollars in copays, tolls, scans, labs and parking expenses. Even with all of these life altering events, nothing could prepare me for what happened next.
In August 2014, at the age of 36, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, AGAIN! Unfreakingbelieveable! I thought this time would be easier, considering Ive been through it before. Nope! It’s so much harder. My body isn’t rebounding as quick as I would like, I’m gaining a lot of weight and my mastectomy area is extremely tender. I’ve experienced one challenge after another. I’m sick being sick!
I started Shay Sharpe’s Pink Wishes in 2011, to educate, mentor, grant wishes and assist other young women who have been affected by breast cancer. I’m the philanthropist, I’m the helper, I grant the wishes! I’m not supposed to be sick!! I’m not supposed to need help! The tables have turned.. The young ladies who I have touched throughout the years, are now holding my hand through my journey. We are truly each others keeper and I look forward to getting away with my Survivor Sisters! ~Shay
• In June 2011 at the age of 34 I felt a lump in my right breast. I instantly knew something wasn’t right. I went my doctor she asked me if I had a family history of breast cancer, I answered “no”. At that time I was completely unaware of the fact that the paternal side of my family did in fact have a history of breast cancer. I just assumed having a lump in my breast was sufficient enough for my doctor to refer me to get a mammogram. To my shock and dismay she said there was nothing to worry about. I was instructed to put a warm compress on the lump, that I’ll be fine, and she would see me next year for my annual physical. In my heart as much as I wanted to believe her, I knew that something wasn’t right. As instructed I put a warm compress on the lump daily and there was no improvement. Subsequently I persisted until my doctor wrote an order and sent me to get a mamogram. My doctor was very upset that I doubted her medical expertise but I had to press forward because my life depended on it.
On October 25, 2011 I was diagnosed with Stage 1A Breast Cancer (Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma). November 2011 my scans showed my 1 spot was now 3 spots so ultimately I had a radical double mastectomy in December 2011. I’ve had several reconstructive and corrective surgeries. When I was finally diagnosed with breast cancer it was a relief as well as devastating. Breast cancer has been the hardest most painful process that I have endured in my life. Surprisingly life after cancer has its own set of struggles but GOD has carried me thru this process, without my faith I wouldn’t be alive today. My daily prayer is GOD please allow me to live and raise my children. I’ve learned tomorrow is not promised and I must live my happiest life now. I didn’t know my strength until being strong was my only option. I’ve also come to learn that I am blessed beyond measure to have the support and prayers of my family and friends. ~ Chanel
• I was first diagnosed with cervical cancer May, 1994; just 2months shy of my 21st birthday. My Dr. decided surgery would be best. After the surgery I spoke with the Dr. and he said he got it all. I didn’t have to go through chemotherapy or radiation but I would never have kids. I was devastated! On April 23, 1995 I gave birth to healthy baby boy. I tried to breastfeed him but he wouldn’t latch on. I mentioned it to my Dr. when I went back for my 6 wk. checkup. He checked my breast and noticed a lump. I went and had a mammogram, a sonogram, and the dreaded biopsy. My Dr. confirmed it was stage IIB breast cancer. I was devastated once again. I was a new mommy and again had no one to talk to. So I talked to my son’s father and he said whatever you want to do or decide to do I’ m behind you 100%. It was decided that I would have a lumpectomy. I started chemotherapy 2 weeks after surgery. No one told me everything I would go through. (Body changes, loss of appetite, the dreaded hair loss) I kept working and pressing on . 2 weeks after finishing radiation my Dr. ran test, then I was told my cancer was in remission. I did my happy dance.
I went on with life. Being a new mom and wife. Everything was great! Then I started not feeling well. I went to the Drs. and my blood count was little funny. He ran more tests and in March, 1996 I was told my breast cancer had returned. The only person I had to talk to was my husband. My Dr. wanted to do a breast mastectomy. I had to think about that. A new wife and no one my age to talk to so I began to talk to God. My husband said that whatever I decided he would be right there as he has been. I opted not to get the mastectomy. I had made up my mind that whatever I came in this world with I was leaving with. I had surgery to remove the cancer with lymph node removal and started chemotherapy. I completed my 1st round of chemotherapy and was about to get my 2nd dose when I found out I was pregnant. Against Drs Orders I decided to stop chemo in order to have my baby. On December 31, 1996, I gave birth to another healthy baby boy. After I gave birth I started back on chemo.
In 2010, at the age of 36, my cancer had metastasized to my lung, bone, and brain. I decided at that time, I would fight until I can’t fight anymore. Now at the age of 42, my cancer is TERMINAL. I recently found out that I have a mass on the left frontal lobe which wouldn’t be considered bad if I was able to have surgery but to my cancer being other places on my brain there is nothing they can do and a tumor growing on my chest wall.
Both my boys are graduating from high school this month and I couldn’t be happier. I think I’m ready for a vacation with my pink sisters to just get away and not have to think about what’s next. I try to be a source of energy and inspiration to my loved ones and everyone I come into contact with. I want my boys to know that I didn’t let this disease stop me from living and being me. I am fighting with all my heart and all my energy.
As I always say CANCER PICKED THE WRONG DIVA! ~ Charelle
Thanks for reading all of our stories! We hope that you can assist in making the wishes of these young women come true! You can make a tax deductible donation via: https://www.crowdrise.com/youngbcsurvivorgetaway/fundraiser/shaysharpespinkwishe or you can mail a check or money order to: Shay Sharpe’s Pink Wishes * P.O. Box 11763 * Baltimore, Maryland 21206