There are events and situations which occur in your life that can forever change the trajectory of your life and story. Here is one of mine. Three months ago, I took a trip to visit my family in the USA. I had not seen them for over a year with the Covid-19 lockdown. On a Sunday evening in mid-January, I received the biopsy results from a lumpectomy that I had done in Haiti in December. It revealed that I had breast cancer. Before that, I had no indication that devastating changes were occurring in my body. My recent mammogram and sonogram never showed anything abnormal. While I had the seemingly benign lump removed from my breast, doctors claimed that it appeared to be hardened breast tissue. It never even manifested in medical screenings.
Learning that I had cancer was a hard punch to my gut. I was not expecting the news. Initially, I was in disbelief. I was feeling fine and had healed quickly from the lumpectomy procedure. I also do not have a history of breast cancer in my family, so could there have been a mistake?
In retrospect, there had been some days that I felt a little more tired than usual, but I am a super energetic and busy person who is a night owl and also an early riser. I am a mother of 3, a wife, and have five dogs who are also my children. I write a food blog which means that I am always cooking and baking as I write my cookbook. I am also an avid quilter and I spend a great deal of time cutting and piecing and sewing together my quilts and cushions. I have a full and busy life and my initial reaction was that I had no time in my life for this diagnosis.
As hard as the reality was to accept, I knew that I had no time to spare but had to get treatment as soon as possible. I cried my tears as I realized that my life as I lived it was on hold. I could not go back home to Haïti as I had planned. The following two months held many long, anxious days of making medical appointments, finding a good breast oncologist and surgical team with whom I felt comfortable. My body was subject to more biopsies, mammograms, sonograms, scans, and bloodwork. My torso and arms was black and blue with bruises from various procedures. The two months of tests and the excruciatingly painful anxiety of waiting on results to form a better picture to help determine the best way to proceed to treatment to save my life. However, during this time, my cancer was spreading to other areas and was showing up on new my screening. My case had become more complicated than the original diagnosis. I never imagined that 2021 would be my year of challenge, but I never want to let this be a challenge from which I back down. I had decided early from Day 2 of my diagnosis when I looked at myself in the mirror teary-eyed and said…” Sharon this is the fight of your life. Put on your armor and pick up your sword… you are now on the battlefield!“
Life is never easy, but it is truly what we make of it. I am so lucky to have a most amazing family. A husband that loves me, my 3 absolutely awesome children, parents who are caring for me, and my siblings who have rallied around me with loving support. My family and close friends reached out and have held me up with prayers, flowers, books, messages and have found so many unbelievable ways to show their support to me in this time of need. This support system has moved mountains and truly been a major force behind my positive outlook. I am so thankful to everyone who has been so instrumental in being part of my circle of love and support during this most difficult time and I love you all!! I fight hard every day and I know that my life in Haïti has built and enforced this strength and courage in the 31 years that I have lived there.
Today I have started my chemotherapy and although the road is long, I am a warrior and fighting every day to kick cancer’s butt!! I have so much left to do in my life and although there may be good and bad days ahead, I wake up every day with a positive attitude and with loving support. I dig deep to find my inner strength to keep fighting this battle against cancer. I am mostly upbeat but I also give myself permission to be sad on days when I don’t feel so great. It’s all part of the process, I am just human after all. But I don’t want negativity to overcome me. I remain fluid to accept news which I may not want to hear and remain open to new possibilities for my treatment. This is the nature of the game.
The moral of my story is to take care of your body, your mind, and your spirit. Don’t let negativity take you down. Life is so worth fighting for and I have seen that love and kindness can get you through some of the toughest moments in life. The power of prayer and placing your life in God’s hands is also a crucial part of my journey. I find solace and comfort in knowing that The Creator and Great Architect has a plan for me. If my story or experience can help anyone suffering from a similar diagnosis then I am warmed by that. Reach out to people you love and trust and don’t feel like you are alone. Even strangers in similar circumstances have so much experience and wisdom to offer. I have personally experienced this from wonderful and amazing cancer survivors who have reached out to me. Sharing your emotions can be such a release and help your healing process.
My journey is not over, but I am living one day at a time with hope until I can one day look back at this as a chapter in my book of life on survival and beating cancer.
27 Comments Add yours
Thanks for being an amazing supportive person in my life. Fighting Unnie!!! Love you 💜💜💜💜💜
Oh my Sharon this news has me in shock. I am so sorry you are going through this ordeal. I love your spirit. The positivity you have is amazing. Keep it up. Cherish the unwavering love you have around you. Much love Kathy
Thank you so much Kathy. I am fighting this with all I am. Thanks for the love and support. It’s such a meaningful part of my journey to conquer this. 💜❤️
Sharon… I am so so very sorry….this news has shocked me to numbness…I will be praying for you and your family….reading your post convinces me that you will Improvise…Adapt and Overcome this illness, because your faith is strong and focused….I have no doubt that you will clear this hurdle…Blessings onto you…🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽
Gary, thank you for your message of support. I will keep up the good fight and make it through this. Love and blessings to you.
I am amazed but your energy Sharon! Always keep that positivity. Remember, one day at a time. You can do it! Hugs Maggy
Thank you so much Maggy. I am thankful everyday for my blessings and people like yourself who support me in this journey, 💜❤️
Mrs Brun, thank you for sharing your story. As you navigate through these challenging times, may ‘the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace’ (Numbers 6: 24-26).
Thank you so much for your words. I put my faith and trust in Him.
My dear friend,
Stay strong! Stay positive!You are a fighter. One day at a time, with the love and support of your family and friends you will win the fight.
Love you Leila and I cherish your friendship❤️💜
Mom, I love you so much and I am so proud to have you as a role model. You are strong, dedicated, and maintain a positive outlook no matter what life throws at you. As I have told you so many times, your cells are like soldiers armed to help you fight your cancer and you will win the battle. We are all here cheering on you and praying for your health and wellness. You have got everyone’s support. We love you! May the Lord bless you and keep you safe. May the Lord cause light to shine upon your face and fill you with peace and grace. Amen!
My sweet girl, you fill my life with love and I am fighting this for our future together. I fight this to spend years ahead with you all so that we can share our lives and stories for many more years. I love you and know how much you are cheering me on. We will beat this. I love you. ❤️🤗
I am so sorry to hear this and I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. You are a warrior and will beat this.
Lots of love from our family to you.
Thank you so much for your message of support. Prayers and positivity are so welcome in this chapter of my life. Love and best wishes to you all,
Dear Sharon, I have thought of you many times over the years (haven’t seen you since 1986!). Then our classmate, Valarie Chung, mentioned you, in reference to your website, a few months ago but couldn’t remember the name. I am sorry about the challenge that life has brought you at the present time and I wish you strength and continued grace throughout your journey.
BTW, I saw this posted on Facebook today.
So lovely to hear from you. It has been a lifetime indeed since we last crossed paths at Bishops’. Thank you for reaching out to me. I am doing well and dealing with this recent diagnosis as well as I can.
Thank you for your good wishes for strength and recovery. Stay safe and well.
Prayers for a swift and complete recovery.
Thank you so much Terrence. I am fighting this hard and God willing all of the treatments go well. The love, support and prayers have been essential. I appreciate the good wishes.
Thanks so much Terrence.
Thank you for sharing your story and for.being so brave, I cannot imagine what you are feeling. Please know the reminders you have given are timely, I have remember to slow down. Scripture says, “In everything give thanks” and that is what you have done and continue to do. I will add you my devotions as you take this journey. You are strong and a child of God and he is the Mighty Healer. All things are possible with him on your side . Stay positive my friend.
Love and prayers.
Thank you for your message of support. I know everything is in God’s hands and I am doing my best everyday to do my best to make it through this and flourish.
The power of prayer and positivity is unprecedented and I know that I am blessed in having so many cheer me on.
Love and thanks,
Thank you so much for your message of support. I appreciate the encouragement and prayers,
Love and thanks,
Wow, you are so brave and strong for sharing your challenging journey. My mom sent this to me and I have to let you know that I am sending you all my positive energy and will be praying for you to win this battle. You are so beautiful, (with or without your flowing hair, that I recall being envious of) and don’t even look like you’re in your 40’s much less 50’s. I am also into health and fitness, life experiences, cooking and crafting, and feel like it is super important to remind everyone to “live your best life one day at a time”, because we’re here for such a short time. Lock down has affected everyone and made many people more introspective. You’re so lucky to have such fabulously supportive family and friends. Try to laugh a little each day and know that an old friend living in on the other side of the world in little Orillia Ontario is thinking of you and wishing you well. Please say hi to your family for me. Sending you all big virtual hugs. Cheers, Nicole
My apologies for the tardy reply. I appreciate your lovely message. Thank you so much for taking the time to write me. I remember fondly our early years. It’s been forever seen our paths have crossed, but it’s so heart warming that despite the passage of time, we can still have memories which draw us close. I appreciate the the advice to laugh a little everyday. I totally agree that this is such a good way to induce endorphins and the general feeling of warmth and happiness. It is so easy to get absorbed in the seriousness and rigors of life; especially now in the time of the pandemic with all the extra stress of everyday life.
I have learned from my cancer diagnosis how fragile our lives are and how in an instant everything we took for granted can be upturned.
I live one day at a time. I appreciate deeply my family, friends and my opportunity to get better with the treatments I am currently doing. I look toward the future and completing these tough days. In the months to come, I will look back at this chapter in my life being a even stronger and more resilient woman. I am filled with thanks and gratitude for every new experience and for those who have encouraged me to fight hard everyday.
Sending love to you Nicole and your family.
Thanks again and hopefully we meet again in the not so distant future.
You are amazing!