In 2016, she founded the nonprofit Robin’s Pink Journey, providing support for individuals currently living with breast cancer. Robin’s Pink Journey makes sure that each person has the essentials not offered elsewhere … laundry detergent, soap, deodorant, cleaning supplies, toiletries and much more. You can learn about it at www.RobinsPinkJourney.com.
“This diagnosis affects people from all backgrounds, ethnicities, ages, and genders. We are in this together so we like to lend a helping hand.”
HOW WAS YOUR BREAST CANCER DISCOVERED? WHAT TREATMENT DID YOU HAVE?
I found the cancer myself. I felt the lump, called my sister, and went to the ER. They thought it was a cyst and sent me to my regular doctor who sent me for a biopsy. On Mother’s Day weekend, May 9th, 2014, I learned it was breast cancer and that it could have been dormant there for a year. During my lumpectomy, they found a previously undetected cancerous spot requiring a separate surgery a week later. Then I had four chemo treatments and 33 radiation treatments. I had another surgery to prevent cervical and uterine cancer, and then had breast reconstruction. It has been a long journey, but I have been cancer free for over five years now.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE OTHER WOMEN LEARN FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE?
Educate yourself about your diagnosis, you always have to be your own advocate, and surround yourself with other pink sisters if you can. Whatever your religion is, pray. Ask whoever you believe in for strength to get through another hour. I wouldn’t even say ask for another day, just another hour.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR SOMEONE WHOSE FRIEND WAS JUST DIAGNOSED? HOW CAN THEY BE HELPFUL?
I get this question a lot. It seems they want to help but don’t know what to do or say. My first piece of advice is love your friend and be there for them as much as you can be. Maybe go to some of their appointments with them to educate yourself about what they are going through.
HOW DID YOU BECOME CONNECTED TO THE PBCC?
I was honored with the 2019 Sarita Joy Woman of Strength Award at the Praise Worthy Pink Tea. The PBCC patient advocate spoke at the tea and I learned a lot about the organization and understood its value. I had heard the PBCC talked about previously at Living Beyond Breast Cancer events.
HOW HAS YOUR LIFE CHANGED AFTER BREAST CANCER?
I speak at events now, talking about my journey, how I got through and how I am still trying to get through it. It makes me feel so good to be able to do that.