|Even though it may seem like I have been through a lot, the most difficult part of the ordeal has been the friends I have lost.|
Even though it may seem like I have been through a lot, the most difficult part of the ordeal has been the friends I have lost. I started my foundation, the No Surrender Breast Cancer Foundation, to help women through their breast cancer. We have an online support forum where women can talk to each other to share their experiences and find a safe place to say whatever they want. Because it is by survivor for survivor, women can express the things that they cannot say to their families, and members of the forum truly understand because they have been through it themselves. I have become very close to these women and we have lost some beloved members over the years and it is very hard. Especially when their lives could have been saved if their cancer had been found earlier. That is why our biggest program is the Before Forty Initiative. We strongly encourage all women to get their baseline mammogram at age 35 and not at the age of 40, because so many cancers can be found at their earliest, most curable stage if they don't wait.
If a woman has just been diagnosed, I hope she will come to our website, nosurrenderbreastcancerhelp.org. There she will find, in English, not doctor-speak, everything that she needs to know to help her fight her cancer. Then she can jump over to the support forum and talk to her fellow sisters. What she will discover is that this journey has a beginning, a middle and an end. The beginning is terror-filled because you don't know what is happening to you and how you will ever make it through. The middle is enduring the treatments and surgeries. And the end, is when you are done with all of the doctors and treatments and the rest of your life begins. That can be so very daunting and overwhelming, which is why I wrote Intimacy after Breast Cancer -- not only does it help you regain your intimate life, but it helps your reclaim your entire life post-cancer. It helps a woman heal both psychologically and physically.
You really will get through this and you will get your life back -- maybe even a better life.