It is so amazing how something in your life can turn your world upside down in a matter of minutes. Not just your life, but your entire family.  I can speak on the matter because it happened to me.  I have had plenty of mammograms since the age of 40, which is the doctors’ recommended age to start them. So I’ve been getting them for the past 17 years.  In between the mammograms, came the sonograms and biopsies.  The constant worry with these will make you a nervous wreck.  Over the years I have been lucky.  But we all know, everybody’s luck runs out sometimes.  

In November of 2019, I had my yearly mammogram done. For some reason at that time, I was reluctant to do it when my doctor gave me the referral. Something in the back of my mind, told me to go; and I did.  In December, they brought me back in to do a sonogram.  Then they called back a week later for me to schedule an appointment to have a biopsy done on my right breast.  I have had biopsies on both breast in the past. I had the most recent one done in January 2020.  In February, my doctor called me in for the results of my test.  I knew when I got the call that something was wrong.  I had no symptoms of any kind - no lumps, bumps, soreness or anything.  I went in to see my primary doctor on the morning of February 7th, 2020.  She came into the room with a confused look. “She said I have some good news and some bad news, which one do you want first?” she asked. I said give me the good first. She then said, your A1C level dropped to a 7.8 which was good since I was once a at 11 A1C.  What followed would be the worst news I’d received from my doctor - “You have STAGE 2 BREAST CANCER!”

In that very moment, my whole world was turned inside out. My doctor proceeded to tell me how to get the help I needed.  I’ll admit my first state of mind was not one of positivity.  I was devastated.  I got into my car with tears running down my face like I was in this whole world alone.  I started not to tell anyone at that moment, but I knew that my husband would know something was wrong.  So, I called him, then my oldest daughter, then my sister. That most agonizing pain was sharing this news with my family and friends. It’s true - when you go down, it brings your world and everyone in it down.  

Once I got over the shock, I got into action.  I knew my mentality and outlook would be the help me beat this cancer.  I had an awesome team of doctors at Moffitt who helped me tremendously.  I had to have surgery to remove the mass and they altered my breast so that they were evenly proportioned.  Although, I had to go through the surgery alone, due to Covid, they made me feel comfortable and supported.  My daughter, Keisha made sure that I made it to my appointment on time and kept my family fed throughout my recovery.  My baby daughter Kierra was my in-home nurse after surgery.  I mean she gave me my baths, made sure I ate, even when I did not want to.  She made sure I took my meds on time, as well as changed my tubes three times a day.  My husband Michael and mother-in-law Alice made sure I had everything I needed as well.  My son-in-law Chance was my guard when my grandson, Honor wanted to play and jump all over me.  

I had to go through weeks of radiation treatments; and it was terrible.  But I made it through - I am CANCER FREE!  I’M STILL HERE…WANT HE DO IT!?! I am so thankful for the amazing love and support that I received from my family and friends near and far.  I am truly blessed.  A word of advice to all women: please be serious when it comes to those mammograms.  It was a blessing that mine was caught in the earlier stage.  I am still praying to GOD that it never returns.

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