I Beat Homelessness and I’ll Beat This Cancer
Sad and troubling story from this survivor (in the middle with staff members). But like her children she has risen above dire circumstances. We all stand in awe of the spirit on display here.
IN HER OWN WORDS: Life has been a rough roller coaster ride for me and my children. We have been through a lot of hard times including being homeless for almost 3 years. I finally thought I had everything in order, got out the homeless shelter, started working a great job, and started saving money for a house. Then I get the news that I have breast cancer.
On March 22, 2016, I wake up and I adjust my top. I feel a hard lump on my right breast. I was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer at 33 years old. At that age I wasn’t even supposed to be getting mammograms for another 10 years. I went through 11 chemo treatments by myself – suffered blisters and ulcers in my mouth – spent my days in the bathroom and my nights hunched over the sink and stove trying to cook dinner for my children (3 -12 years old).
My children were troopers throughout all of this – all the struggles we have been through they have always walked with their heads held high just ready to face life’s next challenge. My children would find me sitting in my recliner in and out of sleep – they would rub my bald head and kiss it. That was all the motivation I needed to beat this beast!
I think they all lost a bit of their childhood – they missed out on enjoying summer because I could not go outside in the sun and I was very weak. Then Christmas and New Years was so hard for me physically and mentally. I did my best to enjoy those days with them but at some point exhaustion and fatigue set in and I couldn’t participate anymore. I missed having fun with my kids.
Life became all about doctors appointments. I have so much medical bills and its just me and my children. I had to return to work while still getting treatment so I could afford uniforms and school supplies because disability wasn’t enough to provide for 4 children,
I had no support system going through this–no family, no husbands. I know there were times when the kids’ teachers would see to it that my children got home safely. Sometimes they would drop off meals. I can’t tell you how wonderful they were. Angels. I would like to thank the For Petes Sake Cancer Respite for the trip to Orlando for my children.
So while I feel so very alone, support systems have emerged to help and I am so grateful. Hoping for better times, a sunny vacation, happy times with my children, being cancer free.