“You have breast cancer”, I still can recall hearing those words when I answered my phone at work on January 26, 2012. My first reaction was that it had to be a prank call and then I was in disbelief. Questioning, how could this happen to me at 42 and strike our family again. Breast cancer had been in our family the last six years; first my mother, then my older sister and the loss of another sister the year before on the same day that I received this unforgettable call. I grew angry because I thought I did everything right in order to not become a victim of breast cancer. I did the yearly mammograms, tried to eat healthier and exercised. I was a care taker for my mother and sisters as they battled breast cancer, so I had no doubt that I was going to fight this thing and win. I was not going to let it beat me. I was going to be here for my daughter and my family for many more years. I was determined to fight breast cancer the same way my mother did; with drive and determination. This will not be my last day, but every day I go through my treatments will be a new birthday for me. I knew how much a strong support system would be needed and I didn’t worry because I knew I had a great one. I knew the impact of not getting proper treatment for breast cancer could have on me and my family. I met with my family that day to map out our plan on how we were going to beat breast cancer. I did not want to lose the battle like my sister and many others have unfortunately done.
The next day, I called The Charleston Breast Center to find out who I needed to contact to discuss treatments and my diagnosis. I wanted to know what I had facing me. Fortunately, it was stage 1, so I knew the breast cancer didn’t have a chance of hanging around with me too long. I was definitely going to put on my boxing gloves and knock out breast cancer in round 1.
My medical team consisted of Dr Baron(a surgeon); Dr Clay ( a radiologist); Dr Myers (an oncologist) who were determined to help me become a breast cancer survivor. I thank God every day for being blessed with a caring team.
I was scheduled for surgery on February 6, 2012 and after that I would go through a series of radiation treatments. They both were successful and now today I am in remission and blessed to say that every visit to The Roper Cancer Center I am cancer free. Looking back during the last ten years of having breast cancer attack my family and losing my sister, I still get emotional. I am thankful that I could have been one of the non survivors, but am grateful that I am a Survivor.
Today, my family and I support Susan G Komen’s Race for the Cure in honor of my mother, my sister and other families like ours who have lost loved ones to breast cancer and in honor of me who continue to celebrate a new type of birthday every year.
1308 Garland Street
North Charleston, SC 29420