I was diagnosed with stage 2 triple-negative breast cancer on Jan. 28, 2021. Cancer changed my mindset and outlook on life in so many ways.
I never would have thought that life would throw this curve ball my way. At first, I felt defeated, helpless and alone. I was so used to fixing problems in my life. I did think at one point that I could not do this. After I had my personal pity party, I decided to swing with all my might and strength. I had to live, I wanted to live, I wanted to spend years and years with my family.
My oldest son, Darren Smith, was my caregiver. He went to every appointment and every emergency room visit. I wanted him to see my strength and know that his mom was going to fight like a champion. I stood on healing scriptures in the Bible, and I would recite them everyday before I started my day.
Even though I battle with the aftereffects of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, ranging from neuropathy, scars, cancer port irritation and sleepless nights, I try to find the good out of it all.I started out saying,“why me?” and those words changed quickly to,“why not me?” I knew I had to fight for my life with every being in my body no matter how tough it would be at times.
My breast cancer journey has reshaped the way I see the world and live my life. It taught me the true value of each moment and the strength that resides within us. So, with that I used my journey and started a nonprofit called Tri-champion Inc. to help others on this journey. “Tri” stands for triple-negative breast cancer and “champion” means I win.
Cancer care is expensive even if you have health insurance. Copays, several trips to treatment and doctors visit were costly. So, helping others in this way would help take the stress off their back.
Through the ups and downs, I’ve found resilience, a deeper appreciation for my health and a renewed sense of purpose. I take time for me, through yoga, walking, meditation, journaling and talking with my therapist. Self-care and keeping my stress level down is important to my overall health. I learned to educate myself on my diagnosis as well and take the necessary steps to keep my body in ultimate good health.Going back to my old habits is not an option for me. I decided that I need to take a course on holistic health, in which I obtained my certification to help me through. With this I can also help others.
I’m cherishing every sunrise, giving thanks to my higher power for giving me life and strength, and celebrating every victory, and supporting those on their own journeys. It’s important to pat yourself on the back because I believe I fought like a girl with power and strength, and I believe I am a champion because I win.
Life is a gift, and I’m determined to unwrap every moment with gratitude, positivity and continue to help others.
This post was written and submitted by a CURE reader. The article reflects the views the author and not of CURE®. This is also not supposed to be intended as medical advice.
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