Have you ever wondered what it will be like to wake up one day and be diagnosed with Breast Cancer?
I never did but that's my reality. I know this is a personal story but since everyone is always promoting the breast cancer pink I will rather tell you what it is like to fight this war. Everyone thinks its easy and we wear pink but no one ever wants to share the harsh reality.
Having breast cancer is not about the pink ribbons or participating in cure marathons. In reality, I don't even wear wear pink and I am not strong enough to do a marathon.
I know this blog might be taking a few of you by surprise but its my reality. I know its a little personal but cancer doesn't come with instructions.
It all began around Thanksgiving of 2011. I began to notice a small lump. I honestly didn't think it was anything important since I have heard of cyst and thought it could be one. I let the days go by while I noticed it kept getting bigger and pain began to get stronger. A few days before Christmas, my best friend insisted on me going to the doctor. See, I am the kind of person that doesn't like doctors. I honestly went with the mentality that I was just going to have a small cyst and get medication.
"You have stage two of breast cancer." said my doctor. My eyes widen, jaw drop, and tears of fear streamed down my face. I was in shock!
"Why me? What did I do to deserve this?" I asked myself while his lips kept moving. I felt like my entire life had flash in front of my eyes.
That same afternoon I went to the Masque to pray to Allah for strength. I am not your typical Muslim girl but faith had always been my strength.
I hid my reality from my parents. One of my fathers family members had recently passed away from breast cancer and I did not want to devastate my father again. My mother was a survivor and I didn't want to stress her. I wasn't alone, I had close friends who where there for me and my younger siblings knew of my condition.
The weeks went by and out of the bloom I told my mother. She was devastated but she was my role model. She fought the battle in her 30's and I knew I could do the same.
I was 21 years old and had breast cancer. I had the tumor removed within 3 weeks of being diagnosed. The surgery was painful but I still have my breast. I am lucky that I was able to keep them. Regardless of my scarf, I still feel like a woman.
Cancer doesn't come with instructions. It just appears like a ghost that haunts you in the begging but its up to your faith for it to vanish. I was psychologically challenged. My hair did began to fall. Chemotherapy was painful. Being young and fighting for your life can be depressing! I almost shaved my head but because of my age, my doctors changed my medication. They switched me to radiation. I wasn't aware how bad chemotherapy can damaged a woman's' body. I haven't experience motherhood and I took the risk of possibly getting cancer again but I want save my ovaries with hopes of one day becoming a mother. I know I am still young but I will love experience motherhood one day.
Young women at 21 think of vanity, party, guys, fashion, and some in having the white picket fence one day. I was 21 and all I thought about was to fight, survive, and finish my education.
I admit, death did cross my mind quite a few times but I had better hopes for life. My experience at a young age made me stronger woman. I am passionate about my career in journalism, writing a motion picture one day, and I hope one day to find a man who will accept my reality and love me for who I am.
This is the first time I actually go public about my situation. Cancer is not about the pink ribbon you wear that says, "Save the tatas". Its about the fighter inside of us who doesn't give up! A good friend of mine suggested for me to start an awareness campaign about young women with breast cancer. I honestly will start to work on one within a few weeks. I hope that many young women my age can realized the importance of breast cancer awareness and take precaution at an early stage.
My battle still continues to this day. I still have radiation once a month since I have cancer cells in my body. It is matter of time for me to fight battle number two. Death doesn't face me anymore, if anything I will like to be remembered for being young and a warrior but I know victory is mine. Having cancer didn't make me less of a woman, if anything; it made me stronger!