Faces of a Warrior | 2017
Inspired, supported, and encouraged are not words normally associated with breast cancer. However, to shine light on such a difficult diagnosis and journey, Susan G. Komen Miami/Ft. Lauderdale launched the Faces of a Warrior Mentorship Program. Through this initiative, men and women are invited to share their story; from their breast cancer diagnosis to how they have thrived after it. Stories will be shared via our website, social media, eblasts, signage at event(s), as well as additional marketing pieces throughout the year.
I was diagnosed at the age of 40. The diagnosis was unexpected, and quite daunting. I had not sought, or even thought, about needing a mammogram at that time. One of my dear friends gave me a coupon for a free mammogram, and even made the appointment for me.
God showered me with grace, mercy and favor by allowing me to survive breast cancer. I’ve lost many friends, yet he chose to heal me. I am so very grateful. I refuse to take one single day for granted. I’ve deliberately chosen to live my life without sweating the small stuff.
From an early age I suffered pain and sensitivity in my breasts. I was told that this was due to the dense nature of the breast tissue. In 1997 I was diagnosed with atypical cells. My initial thought and question for my doctor was if I had cancer; he told me no, but that I should be vigilant.
I was diagnosed with Stage 1 Ductal Carcinoma In Situ just days after my 28th birthday. This diagnosis was startling as I was not even 30, had no family history of cancer, and no prior health concerns.
In August 2003 during my yearly routine mammogram, a mass was discovered in my left breast. A biopsy was performed and the results provided me with a diagnosis of Ductal Carcinoma Insitu. In September, I had a lumpectomy followed by 33 radiation treatments and a 5 year prescription of Tamoxifen.
In June 2004, I was diagnosed with Stage III Breast Cancer, which required surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. After my recovery, I made a decision to take my story public and have since shared my breast cancer journey by becoming a prominent voice in the community.