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It Is What It Is

Nov 2016, 3 days before Thanksgiving, I was diagnosed with MDS blood cancer. My mom was diagnosed on December 3rd, 2016 with lung cancer.

Barely got through the holiday when my mom passed on Jan 4, 2017. I start chemo that day. 3 week later during a pet scan, they discovered breast cancer.

My treatment

I stopped treatment for blood cancer. I had a mastectomy, one-month of radiation, one week free of treatments, and then check into the hospital for 31 days of pure hell.

I am experiencing the aftermath of radiation while healing and dealing with one breast, and beginning massive chemo treatment and then a stem cell transplant from my sister.

I thought I was dying – no joke. For about 6-8 long days, I could barely move. I peed and pooped myself and threw up constantly. My hair began failing out and when I finally saw myself in the mirror I was horrified and broke down.


Fast forward to 19 months post stem cell transplant. I’m healing well with only one set back last year. I am approved to look at options for reconstructive surgery now. My chemo curls are cute most days and I’m taking control of my mind, body and spirit.

It’s not over. Everyday will forever be a struggle and a reminder of the battle I won and the battle that has forever changed me and my family. Blessed to be alive.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Deb Wesloh moderator
    1 month ago

    You’ve had quite a battle with cancer. What type of breast cancer were you diagnosed with? I was also diagnosed with both blood cancer (polycythemia vera) and breast cancer (invasive ductal carcinoma) in 2016. Glad you are doing better now.

    And I love my curly post-chemo hair too. It’s so easy!

  • Ann Harper moderator
    6 months ago

    I’m so glad you have a happy ending. I wish you the very best as you move on with your life.

  • Anthony Carrone moderator
    6 months ago

    Hi @kare4kidz – I’m sending hugs and positive vibes your way. I also wanted to let you know that your name was randomly selected as the winner of our Carve for Cancer Winter Hat Giveaway! I hope this small win brings a smile to your day and warmth to your head! I will message you privately for shipping information 🙂 Please reply within the next two days to claim your prize 🙂 Congratulations and thank you for sharing your story with the community. I know it helps others feel less alone. Warmly, Anthony

  • Yolanda Brunson-Sarrabo moderator
    6 months ago

    You may not believe it but so many can relate to your journey. It’s crazy when dealing with your own trials in the midst of a parent’s passing. My mom too passed away from lung cancer, when I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. How I got through that – well only God knows. It was tough and I’m sure you can relate as well. “It is what it is”, was my go-to slogan at a hectic stressful day in the fashion industry and I tell you, the battle many people have climbed can be puzzling at times, but it feels good to win every now and again. I hope this New Year brings you closer to remission, and may you continue being an example of strength. Best!

  • Ann Harper moderator
    6 months ago

    I love your reply.

  • Yolanda Brunson-Sarrabo moderator
    6 months ago

    @annharper Thank you 🙂 Hugs

  • CindyC moderator
    7 months ago

    You are a strong woman. I like your positive attitude. You are living your life and taking control. Keep looking forward. I loved my chemo curls too!

  • Ann Harper moderator
    6 months ago

    As my daughter’s hair is growing back it looks so cute. Plus, she gets to try out a new haircut!

  • bluchs
    7 months ago

    May God Bless You
    I will pray for you to continue to recover.
    Stay strong, and don’t ever give up.
    I know what it is like, to think you are going to die, It Sucks!
    I know what it is like to pray for death to come.
    I know how awful it is to stay in the hospital, my longest was 29 days.
    I also lost family to cancer.
    But it sounds like You Are A Survivor.
    God had a purpose for you, it is not your time to leave us.
    You have been through so much already, I hope life gets better for you soon.
    Keep your faith and stay strong

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