This entry was written by Charron Walker who just celebrated her 10th year cancer free:
I live by this quote: “I have been through a lot to do this; everyday is a faith walk for me. God spared me for a reason and this is my purpose!”
I found a lump in my right breast while I was in the shower doing a monthly self-breast exam. I was thirty-two years old. My mother passed away from breast cancer at the age of thirty-four, so I knew that me or my older sister would inherit the gene for the big “C.” I never thought I would get it because I was so young.
I had big plans for myself after graduation. In a matter of days, everything changed. I was going to find a well-paid job in Human Resources, pay off my student loan and begin to move into the next stage of my life. I wanted to get married, have children, get a dog and have a big house with the white picket fence.
I was diagnosed with Stage I Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma. I was frightened beyond words. I never had a major operation before so all of this was new to me. This was my first day of being cancer free. The next step in my personal journey was to start chemotherapy. I was petrified. I heard horror stories about the treatments and could not fathom being physically sick, losing my hair or putting something that toxic in my body. My head was swimming with all kinds of thoughts: Am I going to get through this? How sick am I going to get? What will I look like with no hair, eyebrows or eyelashes? Is this all worth it? God, are you still here? I was battling mentally, physically and emotionally to survive.
I lost my hair the day before Christmas Eve. It was a bad holiday for me but I was alive. The treatment, in itself, was a difficult hurdle to overcome. Each medication I took had bad side effects. I had insomnia, depression and nightmares. I worked Monday through Thursday and took the Friday off to have chemo. I did not have to but I chose to work through all my treatments. It brought a sense of normalcy to my life. It was my therapy.
The final step in my journey was hormone therapy. I had to take one pill everyday for five years. With this medication, I was pushed into early menopause which included hot flashes, mood swings, etc. In 2006, I started Young Survivors Network, a program for young women survivors of breast cancer. Our mission is to educate, support and advocate for young women who have been diagnosed with this disease.
I’m not “just” a survivor, I’m a conqueror! I am in my 10th year of survivorship and I am taking it one day at a time. I don’t have a fear of dying but every now and then I am confronted with the thought that cancer might return. I am sometimes afraid it could come back in my other breast or another part of my body. When these overwhelming fears rage, I immediately say “God promised I was healed.” These powerful words bring peace, comfort and hope to me. The fears are quieted and put to rest. I am determined to live life to the fullest!
We want to hear about your milestones and how you’ve journeyed through your breast cancer diagnosis like Charron! Comment here or on our Facebook page!