“I don’t want this. I don’t want any of this!” That is all I kept saying as the truth of my stage 2B breast cancer diagnosis with lymph nodes involved slowly sank in. As I reflect on that day, I don’t know why I was so surprised. In hindsight I had been preparing for this diagnosis since I was 8 years old. I first learned about cancer when my grandmother on my moms’ side was diagnosed. We don’t carry the BRCA gene but somehow my grandmother, my great aunt, my great grandmother, and my mother all have had a diagnosis of breast cancer. I was the youngest in my family to get cancer. I was 37 and it was in 2018.
I did everything possible to not get cancer. I chose to be a philanthropist for breast cancer. My own college sorority Zeta Tau Alpha shares the philanthropy of breast cancer education and research. I once thought if I was the best advocate for breast cancer awareness, I would not get cancer. The exact opposite occurred, and I realize now I gained knowledge and research to prepare myself for my own breast cancer battle.
Cancer was the catalyst to my transformation. Cancer taught me to be patient, grateful, and humble. Lessons learned from cancer, helped me be more flexible in life. Acceptance is a small quiet room, and I did not want to accept my diagnosis. I truly believe much of my cancer journey was to teach me to let go! I tried to be in control of everything. That way I would have nothing to worry about, right? WRONG!
I look back and wish I had been more calm, more resilient, more kind. I can’t change the past, but I can let the past change my future actions. In the moment everything was hard. I didn’t handle chemo very well, and as a result I had unexpected surgeries that kept me sedentary, cranky, and exhausted. Sometimes I think if I had been more accepting maybe the journey would have been less challenging. I am learning to be grateful life after cancer, for being the breast cancer survivor I was hoping I WOULD NEVER become.
I am grateful for my cancer journey. I still grieve the old me and have moments where I struggle to accept my story. I was blessed to have a very dear friend of mine named Amelia Ann Player go through the breast cancer journey ahead of me. Everyone needs someone like Amelia to lean on and talk to, who understood my pain. She was healed in Heaven on October 8th, 2020. She gifted my horse to me. He has been the best therapy. His name is Keaton. As I continue to grow in my survivorship, I look back and am reminded….as much as I didn’t want “this” It is my story. I am a breast cancer survivor, horse enthusiast, counselor, and yogi. I survived cancer because my story is not over.
Because of cancer I now have my brand GypsY Dharma: The Journey to find your truth. It is through my own trauma, education and research that I hope to provide support and natural services for others to heal from the inside out! I work hard to accept my cancer journey every day. I give thanks to the life lessons this journey has and will continue to offer. Thank you @brcastrong for your advocacy, positive energy and support for survivors, fighters and previvors. I don’t think I would have the strength I do today without support groups to lean on and learn from.
From behind my boobies to the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!!!
Breast Cancer Survivor and Founder of GypsY Dharma Services.
www.gypsydharmaservices.com IG- @gypsy.dharma FB- gypsydharma