Faith, Family, and Friends are the 3 Fs that helped me handle what I was given. I called it my assignment from God. I joked early on with friends that there was no grading scale for this assignment. I felt like this assignment – this test – was pass/fail only and for me failing was NOT an option!
After my surgery and throughout chemotherapy, I would envision what health looked like on the other side of cancer. It wasn’t too incredibly difficult to do because I had been living a pretty active lifestyle before my diagnosis. As much as I wanted to find a shortcut, I quickly acknowledged that there were no shortcuts – no way over it, no way under it, no way around it … I just had to go through it.
As a survivor, I proudly and humbly carry the banner that says we can! I constantly challenge myself for that very reason. My cancer was triple negative. They tell me it’s an aggressive form. All I know is I am still here. I want to smell the roses, enjoy the scenery. I am on a “keep it moving” mission. Since my diagnosis and treatment, I’ve completed four Sprint Triathlons, two Atlanta 2 day walks for breast cancer (30 miles over 2 days), and I’m about to embark upon a three day 100 mile journey with other survivors with an organization called Project Athena.
I remember what it felt like to wonder if there would be any semblance of the old me ever again. The truth of the matter is I’m operating in my new normal. I would like to encourage survivors to keep a journal of all the things that they’d like to accomplish when treatment ends. Write big, courageous dreams! Stretch your dreams beyond your imagination and you may just be pleasantly surprised at the outcome.
I am proud to be a part of CDC’s #BringYourBrave campaign to raise awareness about breast cancer in young women. It’s given me an opportunity to share my story and raise awareness. Early detection is key.
Carletta’s best life-saving advice:
*Be our own best advocate
*Know how your breasts normally look and feel
*Know your family history and risks
*Talk to your doctor if you have a higher risk
My Story: “Faith, Family & Friends” Were Her Perfect Prescription To Beat Breast Cancer was originally published on blackdoctor.org