After an abusive marriage, and a horrific court battle for custody of my three kids, I finally was given full custody, and the right to relocate to Florida. In 2004, I moved my three teenage kids to Florida to start over and have a new life. I thought the worst fight of my life was behind me. How wrong I was.
While I got settled I was learning my new job, began making friends, and helping the kids adjust, I noticed under my right breast I had a lump, and it was very painful. Literally it hurt to wear a bra. I went and saw a random doctor out of the phone book and had him examine it. He palpated it and said, you need a biopsy immediately. So I scheduled with a surgeon, and had my biopsy done. Two weeks later, I went to his office and heard the words, “You have breast cancer.” My world crumbled. I was stunned.
I called a male friend of mine, someone who I knew was strong and would hold me up while I crashed. He took my face in his hands and said, “You can beat this. You are strong. You are the strongest person I know. Go home, lock the doors, turn off your phone. Call two people and let them know you are okay, and have them to make the phone calls for you and that you do not want to be bothered for 24 hours. Then cry, get mad, break things, yell, curse, scream. Get it all out of you. Then tomorrow, you begin to FIGHT.”
I did what he told me, and the next day I scheduled surgery, chemo, radiation, the works. I began my fight that day and never stopped. I never cried, never asked, “why me” but asked, “why NOT me.” I beat it back into remission and began to get back what I had lost : my hair, my health, my self esteem from losing part of my breast. Three years later, I was in shape, riding a motorcycle, and feeling very good about life.
Then, during a routine GYN appointment, my GYN notice a spot on one of her tests. I was sent back for more tests. A biopsy was done, again. It was back. The cancer had traveled to my spine, and was happily growing in my back bones. This time, no tears, I just got mad. I was NOT going to go like this, I had a FULL life ahead of me, and cancer, not only do you suck, but you needed to go away for good!
This time, they removed my ovaries, as my cancer is estrogen positive. So not only do I have two different sized boobs, now I have some of the plumbing missing! I had more chemo, another port (at least I have matching scars now) and more radiation. Yeah, and I have more attitude this time.
Now, here I am five years later and in remission. The cancer is contained to my spine, and because I have no hormones to feed it, it has just sat there. I have pain that I must live with, because my spine has been weakened through the chemo, radiation, and a degenerative disc. I have to take medication every night and my sleep patterns are for the birds.
I AM HERE, I am alive, and I am FIGHTING LIKE A GIRL. I just finished my Bachelors in IT, witnessed the birth of my first grandchild, and am in the process of starting my own business. I also just recently started talking to my husband, who left me two years ago, but now realizes how good I was for him! Life is great, I am blessed, God is good, and I continue to FIGHT LIKE A GIRL!
The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.
This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.