I started this journey on February 13, 2002 when I was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer at the age of 31. On this day, my life forever changed. I originally found the lump in my breast over a year earlier. An ultrasound confirmed that I did have a solid lump in my breast. However, because of my age, no family history and the fact that African-American women have high cases of Fibroadenomas (a benign breast lump) – the lump went misdiagnosed. At that time, I was in a failing marriage with two young boys ages 2 and 10.
My step-father, a prostate cancer survivor, tried to assure me that cancer is NOT a death sentence. I remember him telling me that “time heals a broken heart and trouble doesn’t last always.” I had to stand strong on my faith. The treatment regimen was tough, but I gained this inner strength that I never knew I had. My renewed faith gave me the will to keep going. With the support of my family and friends, I was able to work during treatment and try to keep my life as normal as possible. It was very important for me to show my boys how their mommy handled adversity and was able to overcome.
Over NINE years later, I reflect back on what my dad told me and I see it as the truth. It has not been an easy journey. I met some wonderful women along the way and unfortunately, lost several friends as well. I myself was diagnosed with cancer again in April 2004 – this time Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and I am currently in treatment again for Stage 4, advanced breast cancer. Yet another test of faith and I decided to STAND. We have to praise Him in the good times and the bad. I am reminded that it’s the time in the valley that makes us stronger and helps us appreciate the mountain tops.
I am thankful to have met Shay Sharpe during my journey. She is not only my sister in survivorship, she’s also my friend. She smiles with me, she cries with me. She’s one of my angels God placed in my life to help me in this journey. Shay and I have been working hard for years to promote Breast Cancer awareness. We wear pink as an opportunity to share our story, to encourage others to be advocates for themselves, to know that breast cancer is taking away too many of our loved ones and we are fighting for a CURE…. Surely knowledge is POWER.
I would like to thank Shay for remembering the women who are fighting each and every day by establishing Shay Sharpe’s Pink Wishes. This cancer has taken so many things from us, but it cannot shake our spirits. The road gets hard and knocks us down, but the important thing is not letting it keep us down. We have to brush ourselves off and stand up again.
With your generous donations you will be helping to make a deserving woman’s dream a reality. Creating a special memory that no one can every take away – a memory that will last a lifetime for both the recipient and her loved ones. So, again, on behalf of all of us fighting the good fight… I thank you!
Statistics may say that my days are numbered, but we know who’s in control. Someone has to beat all the odds while fighting this beast we call cancer – why not me? To my sisters in the fight, why not YOU? We know that miracles are small things that happen every day. I am still praying for my miracle, while continuing to Live well, Laugh Freely and Celebrate Much!!!