Friday, May 28, 2010
Stage IV breast cancer what it does to a womans life
As I wake up each morning, I can hear the birds singing, the sunshine is brilliant, the leaves are so green and magnificent, I feel alive. Most may say they notice the world around them but until you really get the message not to take life for granted we all included me in the past woke up and thought "is this all there is?" Wow it is this and so much more! I have a song in my heart for the rest of my days here with you. STAND UP AND FIGHT http://www.myspace.com/micheleannn for my sisters....
In 2008 I was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer, bilateral, both invasive and in early stage, with one lymph node involved. My diagnosis was a little uncanny my best friend Max an 10 yr old yellow lab, knew it was there. Hes main purpose at the end of his life was to make me aware ,which he did by hitting me in the chest, exactly where the tumor was over and over again until one day I realized man it hurts there. I am a nurse and know better but I like so many others thought I was exempt. I didn't get my mammogram, I was busy and not wealthy and let this be a lesson to all of you ladies out there please please get a mammogram. I went many yrs without health insurance just because i couldn't afford it and even us nurses didn't know how inexpensive mammograms are approximately $100.00 dollars ladies its worth your life don't you think?
I went though a lot surgery,chemo, thyroid cancer, thyroidectomy, radioactive swallow, low thyroid fatigue, wt gain, my throat was cut and I couldn't make pitch or range for 3 months, I thought my voice had been taken forever,then few months ago much to my shock when I thought I was finally done with it all; Stage IV breast cancer, its now in my lungs. I refer to it as "aliens" in my body because i guess its easier for me to deal with that way. I was given a grim outlook because everyone knows stage IV is not curable. It tends to keep coming back somewhere in your body and theirs no rhyme or reason to it, it can come back next week or 20 yrs from now. So for the rest of my days here I will always have breast cancer hanging over my head. I wonder often "what did I do?" the answer I get is nothing, one in 8 women will get this that's a staggering statistic. There has to be something in our environment doing this to us. I was genetically checked and I was negative for breast cancer gene.
Thought out my ordeal I have said I will go down fighting if at all! I am a recording artist and a nurse who has shown everyone strangers and friends that if you fight you win no matter what the outcome. I dragged myself into the recording studio with chemo on board, surgery on board,I had drains hanging out of me, binders on, I was so sick but i went anyway. My producer Frank Starchak put his chin in his hands when i walked out of the recording booth after recording a wailing rock song. He looked and me and said " I know your hurting and I cant believe you, you just wailed out a rock song like no one would ever know how hurt you are." I just smiled I truly didn't get what he was saying back then because I was in a battle, the battle for my life, my dreams, my family, my friends, my fans. Most of all I am in a battle for all the women out there who are fighting for their dreams and lives right now, you know them, they are your mothers,sisters,aunts,cousins,friends,they are strangers with the same cause to eradicate breast cancer.
Next time you see a woman dressed in pink with a scarf on her head stop her and say "keep fighting,I'm praying for you." those words may give her the strength to keep fighting, because chemo is not for wimps it is hard, there are days you'd rather die, so your words though you might think don't matter your a stranger, they do matter . When I look in the mirror I don't see me any more all my beautiful hair is gone, no eyelashes, no eyebrows, puffed up from steroids, I have no control over what they have made me look like on the outside. We do know people by how they look and my hair was "me" it was the one thing I loved about me, I inherited from my grandmother. Strangers would stop me and compliment me on my beautiful hair that was down almost to my waist. Am I grateful to be alive 'YES!" am i mad "YES" I once explained to someone when they Asked me "why complain about your hair your alive aren't you grateful for that?" Imagine your in your home, someone comes in, and shaves off all your hair without your permission, your now bald, it may have taken 10 yrs to grow all that hair, how do you feel?" YOUR PISSED BELIEVE ME!
Do something for the women you see dressed in pink with the scarf on her head, i cant tell you how many strangers have stopped their busy lives and did even the smallest thing that has meant so much to me that I have cried tears of joy to know there are people in the world who care. I am not a freak with a scarf on her head , you cant catch what I have but your loved ones can get this too it can be you or your family, or your friends. I was 100% healthy until 2008 and since then my world has been turned inside out. Don't say be positive to me, I am positive,I'm positive I'm going to fight this, and I'm sure a cure is coming, even the most positive fighters can die from breast cancer its a GOD AWFUL DISEASE help us fight for a cure.If you go to my website http://www.myspace.com/micheleannn you can hear the song I co wrote for my breast cancer sisters, God has given me the opportunity to use a gift he gave me to BE A VOICE for all who are fighting, I hope to be their hope. Cancer tried to take my Voice GOD had a different idea.