Skip to main content


"I sometimes don't fit in with the "cancer" crowd."


I sometimes don't fit in with the "cancer" crowd. It never fails to happen, someone starts talking about losing their hair, or the horrible side effects of chemo. I was very lucky, very fortunate, and I realize that. I didn't have to have chemo or radiation. My hair is very long, and although I had visualized and prepared myself for the inevitable hair loss, I was relieved but somewhat nervous about not having chemotherapy. The oncologist seemed very sure of himself when he said that my survival rate was just about as high as it could get without any treatment other than a mastectomy.

It has been two years almost to the day since I was faced with that possible death sentence. And even though I don't have a good "bald" story, I was just as scared as anyone else when I was told of my condition. I still have the physical and mental scars of my mastectomy and tram flap reconstruction. My entire stomach is still numb and I will live with an "off center" belly button for the rest of my life.

My heart still aches when I think of how close I came to leaving my four beautiful children without a mother. My husband would manage somehow. He is younger than I am, and only my youngest two children are his own. The older two and from a previous marriage and I knew that if I died, my children would be separated, each living with their fathers. How could they make it without me? I wondered.

In the past two years, I have really changed my outlook on life. I have tried to teach my children independence and show them as much love as possible. I have also come to peace with myself and my shortcomings. I am not a perfect person, but I do try my hardest to make each and every day count for something. If my cancer ever returns, and if it ever succeeds in taking my life, I will know that I was given extra time on earth to make a difference and that is my goal in life. My own mother died at the age of 59. She died of a ruptured brain aneurysm. She was the picture of health and just died. No warning, no explanation! I was given a warning and an extension. I am thankful for the second chance and just want to make the best of it. There are no guarantees on how long it will be.

If this is your story and you'd like to update it, please email us at [email protected]

Are you a survivor, spouse, friend, or caretaker with a story to tell? We'd love to hear from you.