Type of Breast Cancer: Metastatic Breast Cancer
Year of Diagnosis: 2012
Number of years as a survivor: 6
Relationship to Susan G Komen:
On March 2012 I was diagnosed with Stage IV Breast Cancer with metastasis to the bone. Unlike most women, my journey began on August 18, 2007, when a cell phone I placed in my bosom overheated and burned my right breast. I was frightened by the melted mess that used to be my phone and immediately called the phone company. At the time, I was dealing with some personal problems, so without looking at my breast, I merely requested another phone. Because I really didn’t think the wound was critical, I opted not to seek medical attention. Back then, I knew nothing about cancer.
On September 2011 while I was taking a bath, I felt a knot in my breast, but remembering the time I got burned, I pushed the idea aside. It was not until March 2012 that the mass in my breast began to worry me. While lying in bed, my breast started to pain me. Overnight, the mass in my breast grew. I didn’t know what to do. I had no health insurance. I called my son, Lavarus, who took me to the ER at Memorial Regional. I was quickly transferred from the ER to the Women’s Imaging Department for further testing. My son was not allowed to be by my side while all these tests were being performed, I felt alone and scared.
Due to the size of my breast, I remember the mammogram being particularly painful and difficult to perform. When, I was told that the cancer was aggressive, and that I may only live for three to six months, my life was turned upside-down. Everything was moving fast, and I couldn’t understand what was going on. Before long, I was told that the mass in my breast was a tumor. For several weeks after the tumor was discovered, my days were plagued by scans, exams, and countless visits to doctors. Following my surgery, the skin on my breast refused to heal due to the burn I suffered years prior. I was constantly bleeding. I also had to have all my teeth removed because I had bone loss due to the metastasis. Even before starting “my journey,” I was exhausted. I felt I was being tortured. Praying, crying, and talking I would ask “God why me? Lord, you took my son and my home; what have I done to cause me to have so much pain?”
Since my journey started, I have taken countless medications and injections. Many have stopped working, but I am receptive to try new therapies; including medications that are considered clinical trials. At times I’m upset that I have Cancer because Metastatic Breast Cancer will always be with me, but I thank God for allowing me to be here today. Yes, I have asked God “Why me?” But then I remind myself, that every time I fell down, God was there to lift me up. I know now that no matter how much pain I’m in, I have the strength to keep me going. I am a testament that with faith and determination, you can live beyond the diagnosis!