Location: New York
Pink Cart Connection: Breast Cancer Warrior
Hello my name is Michelle. I really think it’s a great idea for The Pink Carts to help with Breast Cancer Awareness and allow others to share their stories to help others! I feel very lucky to share my story and pray that it helps somebody.
Cancer is on both sides of my family. I have had my grandfather pass away from lung cancer, my aunt pass away from Breast Cancer, and another aunt from cervical cancer. Right now in my family there are several of us that have cancer. Unfortunately, my case is the worst. I started having cancer when I was around 18 years old. I can honestly say I think they tried everything on me from freezing, burning, lazed surgery, hysterectomy, chemo therapy, radiation and of course trying experimental cancer treatments. I have had Cancer in my cervix, ovaries, knee, stomach and my breast. Right now I have stage 4 cancer in my stomach and breast.
My cancer came back around six years ago. I started not feeling well and was feeling very tired. I knew in my gut that it was cancer, but I prayed it wasn't. All these years of having cancer I never had a hysterectomy due to my doctor feared that it would spread. About six years ago I was told I didn't have a choice and that I had to have a hysterectomy. I went through the surgery and a little over six months later I found a small lump in my breast. They were able to shrink it and it seemed like it was no big deal and that I dodged a bullet. Unfortunately, about two years ago it came back. I was doing really good with treatments and doing everything the doctors recommended, then in August I received a phone call saying that my cancer spread. Well you would think that I would break down and cry. I did for about five minutes then I just got mad! I was so mad that this horrible thing called cancer was running my life! I was tired of feeling sick. I was tired of having my life revolving around cancer! So I wasn't just going to lay here and let it take my life too.
I have a 21 year old who has a daughter that is ten months old and I'm a single mother of my 15 year old son who plays football and runs track. The last thing that I wanted is for my sons’ lives to become effected from me being sick. My youngest son is my best friend, my rock, and my inspiration for getting healthier. So back in August when my whole life changed again my sons and I sat down and talked about everything… the good, the bad, and the ugly. We all realized that we wanted to have a real life and not to let cancer take over our lives. So I decided to put in for my FMLA, but I sat down with the VP and the president and told them that I wanted to work even though I'm sick. I also told them that it would give me strength and help take my mind off of things at home. I used to work 12-13 hour days like it was nothing, then slowly I wasn't able to even make it to 10 hours a day. I still fought every day though and I went to work when I could and my job allowed me to work when I could and allowed me to stay as long as I could. Some days when we were really busy it would help with taking away the pain, nausea, feeling tired and it almost made me feel like my old self!
Even when I had to stay in the hospital I did things to help me take my mind off of things like writing poetry, talking to my grandma for hours - who just turned 90 in April, but doesn't look a day over 60 - she would stay on the phone to make me feel like she was right here with me, watching movies with my sons, reading up on the gossip magazines and of course Lifetime (what woman could not love Lifetime!). Even though I have gotten worse I still believe that I will FIGHT, I will SURVIVE. This cancer may take away all my hair everywhere.... It may take away my strength so I need to be in a wheelchair... It may change my looks and make me look so tired. Heck it even ruined my long nails that I always had, BUT it will not, no matter what, take away my FIGHT! My fight to want to see my son graduate high school, then collage, to watch my oldest son become a loving patient father, to see my granddaughter off to kindergarten, to be able to fly from New York to Montana to see my grandmother and father, and of course to be with my loving most caring little five pocket sized Yorkie dogs!
I may be sick, I may have stage 4 cancer, BUT that doesn't mean I'll just lay down and let this awful thing called Cancer ruin all my hopes and dreams! I refuse to let this beat ME, I refuse to let this take away all my hopes and dreams, but most of all I will NOT let this ruin my sons’ dreams of having me be there for all their wishes and their dreams. I pray that we all stand and FIGHT against this awful thing called Cancer and when someone is weak let us all help to make her strong! We can all survive this if we ALL believe that we can beat this! We will find a cure if we help in finding one! We need to help by being a part of the experimental treatments. If you’re being told to make your finale arrangements like me, still fight, still believe and find a doctor who is willing to help you still have Hope and your Dreams.
There are tons of ways to be treated, don't give up, even on the experimental treatments. Someone has to volunteer. It takes 10 years to complete a trial from start to finish and then it can be a drug that may even save someone's life. Also when you’re feeling down look around and see all the people who are trying to help with the fight, like for example The Pink Cart, Susan G. Komen fund raiser, The Pink Crusader (an awesome comic book superhero, she is the breast cancer fighter and can be sees on Facebook), and all of the cancer walks all around the world! There are so many moving stories, so if you read mine I'm honored. I hope you get some strength and inspiration from my story! I'm no longer able to work as of right now, I'm on oxygen, in a wheelchair (just to help me get around when I'm not home), no hair, no long nails (LOL), still getting treatments four times a week (radiation and chemotherapy), BUT I still have a lot of fire under my heels so I won't be out of work for long! I'm just resting to build up my strength again. I will not surrender! Please fight too!