Member Stories: Meet Tawana

June 1, 2023

Ms. June's story is lovingly sponsored by Laura Bass

The theme of A Calendar to Live By 2023 is In Her Own Words. All 12 women who grace its pages have honest, inspiring stories written in their own words to share with readers -- as well as words of advice for other young women newly diagnosed with breast cancer. Read on to get to know more about Ms. June 2023.

Ms. June 2023 | Diagnosed at 31 (2015)

In December 2014 I found 3 lumps during a self-examination. I experienced a very painful rare symptom of electric shocks shooting in my breast. During an examination in January 2015, I was assured not to be concerned as I was too young at 31 for cancer; lumps and bumps were normal. In March 2015, an ultrasound diagnosed 5 tumors in my
right breast, chest, and lymph nodes. Again, assured it was not cancer. One, too young, breast cancer “is” an older women’s disease. Two, cancer isn't painful! Three, my tumors were perfectly rounded, and cancer is jagged as it invades. Eventually, a biopsy was done on the softball-sized lump sticking out of my neck. In August I received the dreaded phone call it was indeed the C-word…CANCER! Triple-Negative Invasive Ductal Cancer that grows in the breast milk ducts and spreads via the tubes from one duct to the next. I was officially in remission in January 2016 after 5 months of chemo, double mastectomy, and 2 months of radiation. In the 6 years since I have had countless reconstruction surgeries to fix damages to muscles. I believe love is important in life. To love the scars, flaws, and imperfections that are perfectly imperfect and imperfectly perfect. Loving flaws as much as the perfections that make each of us unique. I find joy and happiness in the simple small things life gives; living each day cherishing the moments I am blessed with. I learned to love the new normal and not be defined by the things I lost as a woman in the process. Breast cancer doesn’t always mean death. It’s a journey and a process. Nothing in life is promised except that we are all born and one day will eventually pass on. It’s up to us to find joy, happiness, and love in our journeys in life. Enjoy the little things no matter how tiny they may seem. Focusing on the positive is what helped me through my journey of finding flowers (little precious moments) along the road of my cancer journey.

ADVICE: Enjoy the little things no matter how tiny they may seem.



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