Cancer was the easy part, the side effects of treatment have proved to be most difficult. By Madame President, Shay Sharpe.


Three broken ribs! What else is new? It’s always something! ALWAYS!! But that also serves as a reminder that I’m alive! I AM ALIVE! Even in the midst of all my mess, I am alive.

I have no idea how I fractured my ribs or when it happened. I’ve been in pain for awhile and the doctors couldn’t figure out why. I had lots of pain on my left side in October 2014, but I had just had my left breast removed again, so needless to say, that’s why they said I was in pain. I was in pain again in February 2015, but was immediately told my pain came from just completing radiation again. There were 2 hospital stays for chest pain over the next year. The hospital still couldn’t figure out what was going on and I kept being sent home with no answers. Fast forward to January 2016. Still in pain. Dr performed a chest X-ray and still didn’t see anything. I called my oncology team at another hospital and voiced my concerns. They sent me to nuclear medicine to ensure that cancer hadn’t spread to my bones. During that test, they noticed that I had 3 broken/fractured ribs. Wtf? I can’t believe I’ve been complaining about chest pain all this time and it took over an year to get to the bottom of it. I can’t stress enough, how important it is to be your own advocate. Keep going to the Drs until you get answers! Nobody knows your body better than you! Don’t be scared or discouraged to seek a second opinion.

Unfortunately, there is nothing they can do about my fractured ribs, except control my extreme lingering pain. No cast. No bandages. Ribs takes months to heal, so I have to take it easy for awhile… Easier said than done! It’s a struggle trying pull a shirt over my head or to lift myself out of the tub. {I can’t even count how many times I’ve been stuck in a shirt!} Feels as if I’ve been shot, every time I attempt to sneeze or cough. I honestly have NEVER felt pain on this level. No laying on my stomach or left side, no missionary, no upper body exercise and no heavy lifting. You never fully appreciate a body part until you can’t use it. Drs said the number of radiation treatments I received could’ve been the culprit for the broken ribs. COULD’VE!

My life after breast cancer.. ~ Madame President

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