Friday, March 24, 2023


Strength is a powerful word. Physical strength is very obvious to the human eye. Internal strength is something different and more difficult to define. Not only is it difficult to define it is hard to determine where one finds their internal strength. It varies from person to person. When I received my diagnosis last July, I did not feel strong, I felt like a weak and helpless child in the face of this disease. An anonymous quote said: “When on the edge of destiny, you must test your strength”. Breast Cancer put me on the edge of a new destiny – to survive at all costs.

To ensure my survival I had to find new sources of strength. Since dying was NOT an option, I decided I would need an extraordinary amount of strength to fight the pink ribbon demon. Thank God I did not fight alone. I have the most amazing family and friends who helped me every step of the way. When my strength failed I could rely on them to push me forward. That’s right – I am a thief – a strength stealer. When I couldn’t put another foot forward, I would look into the eyes of someone I know with great strength and steal some of theirs to help me through. These strong people in my life, my husband, sons, my mother, sister, aunts, cousins and other family and friends shared their strength with me and gave me the ability to get up each and every day and fight this disease.

I don’t regret stealing from these wonderful people. Strength in the face of adversity is one of the true gifts of life. There were days when I was so sick and in pain I didn’t know if I could get out of bed. I would lie in bed and imagine the eyes of one of these people, and like a thief in the night, I would rob some of their strength so that I could use it to get through another day. The great thing about stealing this is that I could then pass it onto others in the same situation as I was. Now that my strength is back to normal, I can’t wait until someone looks me in the eye and steals my strength. I have a lot to give. I had many pillars of strength during my journey and now I can be a pillar for others with this disease.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said “Spiritual force is stronger than material force; thoughts rule the world”. Strength is a spiritual force and each of us has it. When the physical strength gives out then one must rely on mental strength and positive thoughts. The key to mental survival is the key to physical survival. I made up my mind that I would win and I will. Every woman with breast cancer will have good and bad days. On those good days, let others steal your strength and on the bad days steal from others. Use your strength, your friends, family and even your children. Wherever you find it, and use it.

We are all strong and with the combined strength we will beat this disease and find a cure….until then, FIGHT LIKE A GIRL.

Guest Writer

The informational content of this article is intended to convey general educational
information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

This article is intended to convey general educational information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

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  1. Shirley Artunduaga

    I must say this struck a cord in my heart. I was diagnosed with breast Cancer on July 5, 2011. I am constantly thanking the Man above for the unbelievable embrace of Love & Strength from my family & friends. Your writing truly truly expresses what I have been feeling inside. My Strength comes from my 3 year old Son Maximus and from my family that have traveled from Chicago to California to take care of us. The LOVE & Strength also has come from my friends & coworkers that have gone to chemo with me, taken care of my son for me, cooked us meals & checked to see how we are doing. YES, I steal the Strength from them and pass it on to another. THANK YOU for writing this, I will share this with everyone!

  2. Anonymous Friend

    I know this extraordinary lady, and I must attest that I witnessed the strength that she proclaims. I encourage anyone finding themselves challenged with such a life changing event, to strongly consider her words. They are real and powerful. They must have been her foundation, because she is still as feisty as she ever was!
    I hope that I might better try to offer more of the strength that I should have to spare for others who truly need it.

    God bless you Mary, and all that find themselves challenged by the “pink ribbon demon”.

    • Mary Major

      Dear Anonymous Friend-Although I can’t figure out which wonderful friend this is I do want to say thank you. I’ve been extremely blessed through this journey to have amazing friends and family every step of the way. If it wasn’t for true friends such as yourself…well let’s just say I wouldn’t be as feisty as I am nor would I’ve been able to kick the “pink ribbon demon” square in the butt. Tons of love to you my dear friend. xo

  3. Mary Major

    Shirley-Let me start by saying KUDDO’s to you for continuing to Fight Like A Girl. It’s amazing how much strength, love and support family and friends are willing to give. May God continue to bless you and Maximus on this journey and may you never give up or give in. Thank you for taking the time to read my writing and to comment. I only wish you didn’t have to take this journey but if it helps; know that I will be routing, thinking and praying for you every step of the way. ((((hugs)))))

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