Kelly's Story: I Am A Warrior & Breast Cancer Survivor
I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in May of 2019; It was quite a shock finding this out as Breast Cancer didn't run in my family and I was not expecting this to ever happen to me; It's like you hear about others who go through it, but never really are prepared to hear that you yourself have Cancer. I remember the day I found out like it was yesterday, I was at work; was expecting a call from my Dr.'s office with my biopsy results; for some reason I had this pit in my stomach, almost like I already knew what they were going to say, and sadly enough I was right; I was told I had Stage 2A Breast Cancer and was also estrogen receptor positive as well.
After hanging up with the Dr.'s office, I thought I would have cried or that I would have been emotional, but instead I walked back to my desk and sat there blankly staring at my computer screen, not really knowing how to feel or what to say or who I should tell first. Well, I sat next to my best friend Tamera. I asked her to come outside with me and quickly walked out of the building while trying to hold in my tears; we got outside and I let it all out. I told her that I had cancer; she gave me a giant hug, we sat outside for a bit while I collected myself and then went back in. I ended up staying at work that day as I figured if I would have left and gone home I would have been by myself and I knew that surrounding myself with my friends and co-workers was the right decision so I stayed.
The following weekend I ended up shaving my head; I went into combat mode.I stood in front of the mirror. I pressed the clippers down and shaved it all off. I figured I'd rather take it off myself than to lose it in clumps while going through chemotherapy.
I ended up going through 6 rounds of IV chemo therapy before I could have surgery; my tumor was over 5 centimeters; they needed to shrink it before they could operate; I never knew what it would be like to go through Chemotherapy; every 6 weeks I went in and my treatments were about 5 hours as they had to administer 4 different drugs. My body hurt so bad, the most excruciating pain you can imagine. I lost the remainder of my hair after the first 2 treatments and was completely bald. I lost my taste, I was weak; my body went through all sorts of changes; when I looked in the mirror I didn't recognize myself; I lost my confidence.
I ended up finding Beautiful Disaster Clothing through a Facebook ad; I ordered a comfy sweatshirt and joggers; I wore them to my chemo therapy sessions; I know it sounds silly saying that I regained my confidence by wearing the items I purchased, but I truly did; I walked the hospital halls with my head held high; some super heroes wear a mask and cape and others wear Beautiful Disaster Clothing, and that is exactly what I did. I wore them with pride.
My Favorite Item from Beautiful Disaster: Is your hoodies and joggers; I work from home so being comfy is so important!!
In October of 2019, they did a Breast MRI to see how much the tumor shrunk; and miraculously they couldn't even find the tumor where it was initially marked; it was gone entirely; the power of prayer and positivity; I definitely cried happy tears that day. I still ended up opting to have a double mastectomy as I didn't want to take any chances. I had the surgery; went through some complications, but for the most part everything went as planned. I then ended up also having a full hysterectomy, since I was estrogen receptor positive this was necessary; I went through a few bumps in the road with that as well but after healing from that I then started the next chapter of my journey which was starting oral chemo, which I was on 1 year; I was so happy when my year of being on those devil pills was up; the side effects were terrible. I also had to be on estrogen blockers and still am on them to this very day as I am supposed to be on them a total of 5 years; being 39 and being pushed into menopause early is pretty crazy; hot flashes, night sweats, waking up changing my clothes sometimes 3x a night isn't much fun; but I remain positive to this day, and am still spreading positivity and inspiring others to continue to fight whatever it is they are going through as well.
I had to fight for my life, I fought with my everything to be here today; I used my story to inspire others to keep fighting their fight, during my chemotherapy sessions I would have to quarantine as my immune system was compromised, it was definitely boring being in the house nonstop so I had to find other means to entertain myself. I started doing these dance videos in my living room; although I was weak and sick, I love music and love to dance, so I thought what better way than to do something I love while going through something so difficult. I would post them on Facebook and the outpour of comments and reactions was truly a blessing; I wanted others to know that regardless of what life throws your way, you are stronger than you think and you can get through anything as long as you believe you can.
Post Cancer life has been challenging; I still encounter lots of pain. My hands and arms go numb throughout the day and as far as my appearance goes a lot of things haven't come back the same as before I started my journey; every time I look in the mirror I expect to see myself as I was before and I am gradually coming to the terms that this is me now and although I may not look the same I have the same heart and strength as when I first started my journey. My mom has been my number one supporter, my number one fan; without her I wouldn't be here where I am today; I also want to give a huge shout out to all my friends on social media who continued to cheer me one from the sidelines; I appreciate them so very much as they picked me up on some of my darkest days. I'll definitely never lose sight of how precious life is; the power of positivity has kept me going to this very day; each day I wake up and am still here breathing is a day to be celebrated.