When I was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer, the oncologist told me that I had only four months to live. I said I wanted a second opinion and he supported that idea. I had a deep-rooted belief that God had a purpose for me, and my faith grounded me throughout my medical treatment. On February 8, I will celebrate 23 years as a survivor of inflammatory breast cancer. I believe that God gave me an opportunity to prove that you can live with this disease, and to be a beacon of hope for other women.
I live each day to the fullest. I believe that one person can make a difference and that every person should try. Seven years ago I founded the support group Sisters in the Fight for a Cure, and I represent Chester County in the PBCC’s traveling photo exhibit. Last October when I attended my sixth PBCC conference, I brought my 43 year-old niece with me who is now a two-year survivor of stage 4 breast cancer. I volunteer my time to speak and to participate in events. Any time I speak in public, I tell people that you have to make a decision. You have to choose life. You have cancer, but cancer does not have to have you.
Twenty-three years of surviving inflammatory breast cancer! I am blessed and still going strong.