I was diagnosed in 2004 with Ductal Carcinoma In-situ at the age of 50. At 63 years young, September will mark my 13th anniversary of becoming a Breast Cancer Survivor. Breast Cancer was my second encounter with the BIG “C”. Back in 1985, at the age of 31, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease...
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.
Although the breast cancer diagnosis and treatment transformed 2005 into the worst year of my life, it has led to one of the best and most important times of my life. Breast cancer has taught me how truly blessed I am. My journey taught me how strong I am and how best to use my God given talents and tenacity to help breast cancer survivors and co-survivors around the world.
I thank God for holding my hand through this journey. I am thankful for my friend and my daughters’ godmother, Sharon Philip, for helping me and giving me strength when I was emotionally drained. I thank God for my mother, my pastors, and family because without them there would be no 11-year breast cancer survivor.
As I reflect over the past ten years, the fact that I triumphed over breast cancer has encouraged me to live my life with a new found zest. I try to focus on the positive aspects of life, and have deliberately chosen not to remember all the details of my breast cancer journey.
I discovered a mass in my right breast at the worst of times; I was on vacation in Mexico with my daughter Ana Maria. I remember waking up, walking to the balcony in our room and feeling a lot of pain in my breast. Since we were on vacation, and because I did not want to ruin my daughter’s enjoyment, I tried to ignore the pain and continue with our day’s plan.
In June 2012, I went in for my yearly mammogram and the results showed everything was normal. Later that year, I casually ran my hand across my right breast, and felt a lump. The very next morning I scheduled an appointment with my doctor.
If I had to use 2 words to describe myself before my diagnosis, it would have been: independent and feminine. After my diagnosis, at the age of 35, I felt weak. My doctors recommended a double mastectomy and six months of chemotherapy. I would lose my hair and my breasts.
In honor of 21 years of racing, Susan G. Komen® Miami/Ft. Lauderdale proudly invites you to our 2nd Annual Faces of a