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In 1995 after losing my two young daughters in a 27-month custody battle in Family Court, I discovered a small lump in my left breast. It was investigated and found to be benign and I was told to keep an eye on it. I did, faithfully having it checked yearly.


In 2005, after many years of stress making sure I got my fair share of contact with my children and after having just gotten engaged to the man I'd been with for 5 years, I was diagnosed with breast cancer for the first time. I gave my new partner the option to break off our engagement. He didn't.


I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer five years later. I have had chemotherapy three times and lost my hair each time. I've now survived over 8 years with breast cancer thanks to brilliant oncologists and ongoing treatment with Herceptin for my her2+ mbc. I've just completed my third round of chemo and I have decisions to make as to what treatment to use next. I am not as comfortable as I would like to be; yet, I am hopeful that my next treatment will be successful in fighting this cancer!


I'm trying to ignore my future, hard as that is. I'm glad to be alive and as it turns out, I'm an "outlier" - beating the odds and defying the stats.


I've never been a thrill seeker but my breast cancer journey is giving me some of the best experiences of my life, and of course, some of the worst.


I LIVE with an awful disease. I've LIVED and I'm still LIVING. I don't know why. I just know that there is an intangible "will to live " inside me. I love my daughters with all my heart. My husband is my BFF. I have a BFF girlfriend that I can talk to about absolutely anything. I have a very dedicated and loving niece. Is that why I'm still here? I KNOW I'm loved and I love back.


Living my life day to day over the past 8 years, I've wanted to die, and I've been terribly depressed at times. There have been words said in stressful times that I've said and will probably say again. My daughters and my husband are all going through more emotional turmoil than I am. That fact stresses me the most!


People ignore you, people shun you. Family ignore you and worst of all, family shun you. Sometimes compassion is non-existent, but no matter what, out of the gloom and cloudy times come wonderful happy moments every single day, despite the negative events.


I believe in smiling every day and being grateful and thankful. As they say, "laughter is the best medicine", so I do just that. I smile every day. I laugh out loud (lol) most days. I cope! I try! I believe! I'm happy to be alive in whatever capacity each new day brings.

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