As it stands today, African-American women are roughly 40 percent more likely to die of breast cancer than white women. Even looking at mortality rates - which have decreased for all women in the U.S. since 1990 - the decreases began earlier and are greater for white women than for African-American women.
Much of the dialogue around breast cancer tends to suggest a uniform type of disease, but those who have experienced this diagnosis first-hand or through a loved one know that there are many different kinds of breast cancer. And unfortunately through my own experiences, I learned about one of the most aggressive, deadly types: triple-negative breast cancer.
As time goes on, you'd think I'd feel further removed from it, but I don't. That's the cruel thing about cancer, it's the
While I can't guarantee that your road will be without bumps, in fact, I can almost assure you that there will be bumps, I can offer you some insights that helped me along the way. So, buckle up and hold on tight, you can do this. Good luck to you my friend. I'm sending you love and strength.
My heart will come back a little stronger every day, but it will never be the same. There will always be the spot that Annie carved out, in my heart, and in my life. But she'll never be truly gone. Someone as special as Annie can never truly be gone for good. I will always have a place for Annie. Until we meet again.
Working countless hours without pay, often using their own money for travel and office supplies, the founding moms refused to give up on the fledgling organization that quickly became a beacon of hope for everyone affected by this disease. Their young girls watching every step of the way.
The boys began taking off their helmets one by one, presenting me with roses, and I was so overwhelmed. These boys had shaved their hair in support of not only me, but for their football brother, "Amento." I looked into the eyes of this united team and I saw their pride.
In July of 2013, I was diagnosed with IDC Triple Negative Breast Cancer Grade 3, at the age of 36, wife and mother of five beautiful children. I began treatments for this very rare and hard to treat and beat breast cancer through City of Hope. I started a trial in hopes of helping other women who would be diagnosed after me in hoping to play a small role in perhaps saving their life.
People go around showing off their new pink swag like they're the bee's knees, but ask them what the symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer are, or if they've heard of triple negative breast cancer, or lymphedema, and you'll get a blank stare and a change of subject.
Most of the world is joyously welcoming the arrival of the Prince of Cambridge. And while I find myself caught up in the excitement, what would give me real cause for celebration is if Kate does the very ordinary but extraordinarily important motherly act of breastfeeding her baby.