At the time of my diagnosis, we had just moved to the Chicago area and were living with family, as my husband’s job was not totally secure. On Dec 22, 1999, I went to my GYN/OB for a yearly physical and he is the one who found the lump. On Wed Dec 23, I was having my first mammogram and ultrasound and on Friday Dec 24, a core biopsy was performed. By this point, I already knew deep in my gut that it was cancer – I have worked in the medical field long enough to know how to read doctors I guess. My daughter was 2 ½ & I was 34. All I could think about was that I was going to die. Understand, the only dealing up to this point with anyone who had cancer was that they died – end of story. It took me eight years to have my daughter and I was nowhere close to ready to leave her yet.
Well, needless to say, I’m still here, upright and kicking – just fat and sassy. I love my job, working with the patients and doing things in the community. In the last few years, I have been involved with a couple different events locally. One is Cops for Kids – Fishes for Wishes, which benefits our local Make-a-Wish Foundation. We have a live band and silent auction with usually around 400 – 500 people in attendance. In addition, my daughter and I help with another local organization that provides emergency shelter to neglected and abused children in the north Mississippi area.
For the past two years, I have participated in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day 60 Mile Walk. In 2009, I walked in San Francisco and this year we walked in San Diego. For this event, each participant is required to raise $2300, so there is a lot of fundraising involved. This amount does not include our expenses – we cover this. I am part of a great team of women, mainly from Mississippi, named the Mississippi Melons. In 2009, we raised almost $35,000 for Komen and $19,000 in 2010.
In addition, of course, at the clinic where I work, The West Clinic in Memphis, we are participants with our local Race for the Cure, as well as Relay for Life. Working in a community cancer center, I am able to help others who are going through the same situation that I experienced eleven years ago – good or bad, it has taken me all of those eleven years to get where I am at today and I would not change one thing.
If I am not busy, I get bored, and if I get bored I usually get in to some sort of trouble (ha!). So, I guess that about sums me up.
I AM A SURVIVOR!
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