An Advocate To the World
Five and a half years ago, in June 2018, when I was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer (*I ended up being misdiagnosed), never in a million of my wildest dreams would I have ever thought I’d be the advocating role I am today. After digesting the heartbreaking news, I promised myself that I would stay an open book, never to shut myself closed to the world, and to remain true to myself (resilient, vulnerable, glass half full). However, the task was a much bigger fight than I realized- when my 1st care team couldn’t agree on a treatment plan, and I had to fire them and find a new team.
My 2nd fight with my initial diagnosis became trying to find the right care team for my body. I sought a second opinion in July 2018, and thank god I did, because the care team found cancer in my lymph nodes, which the 1st care team missed. A year and a half later, my cancer would rear its ugly head again, proving that I had stage four breast cancer all along, and my 2nd care team misdiagnosed me from the start. At this point, I knew I had to become the sole advocate for my body, and fight even harder to protect it. Fast forward to present day, in the last few months, where I’ve had severe headaches, changes in vision and horrific side pain right near my ribs. I vocalized all of this pain, asked for scans to my oncologist & drs, and it turned out that my breast cancer spread to my brain, right eye, and liver. Had I not spoken up with my side effects, my cancer in my organs would have not been detected.
Learning how to have a voice for my body & my care is something that I share with others by writing articles for Curetoday.com, sharing with the community in Facebook groups with other breast cancer survivors, and speaking on radio stations and podcasts about my story. I also have fundraised with Here for the Girls, and other charities, and walked in races to support breast cancer. Most recently, I joined Metavivor’s Advocacy campaign for Capital Hill to generate more research dollars voted on by Congress.
How did this start for me- to advocate for others? I view my cancer as a second chance where I want to dedicate my life to helping others with breast cancer, to fundraise for research & resources for women with cancer, for stage 4- because there isn’t enough being done for MBC, and most importantly, education & awareness- still there are so many that know so little.
It all starts with baby steps- sharing our stories, and not being afraid to be open to questions.
That’s the magic of being a wildflower- having the grace and courage to open yourself up.
I’ll keep fighting for all of us & future women till my last breath
Grace, grit & gratitude