My journey with
breast cancer began on one of the scariest days of the year - Halloween.
remember it clearly. I was 31 years old, the mother of 2 and 5 months
To say I was
shocked would be a understatement. I was young and healthy with no
history of breast cancer in my family. I'm too young to have
After delivering a healthy baby boy
(Hooray!) and an auxiliary node dissection surgery, my final stage was
2A. When my baby was 6 weeks old I began chemotherapy treatment, and like most everyone else,
I had no idea what I was in for! My experience with the side effects
of chemotherapy was
not the greatest. Show me a person who's experience with effects of chemotherapy is
great and I'll show you a liar. Although our bodies all handle it
differently, we do have one thing in common - the experience isn't fun.
I firmly believe there is a way to
find good even in the worst situations. Sometimes, it's very hard to
do - especially when you are being killed on a cellular level in order
that you may live - but making the choice to find the good, no matter
how difficult it may be, makes all the difference.
The good I found was inside those
around me and I set out to make their chemotherapy experience a little
more positive. On my 'good' days, I'd take my newborn and two older
children and meet with local and national companies who could provide
discounts, sample products and free services. Then, before I was
hooked up for my chemotherapy, I'd give out these presents to the other
patients in an effort to brighten their day. There is nothing better
than seeing smiles replace frowns and listen to the happy chit-chat of
those who know that someone cares about them. And I do.
As I handed out the presents, I'd wish
the patients, 'Happy Chemo!' knowing full well the true extent of that
oxymoron. But consider this: a wish of 'Happy Birthday' doesn't mean
the person's day is going to be fabulous. It means that you desire
happiness for them. Happy Chemo! is a similar declaration and one that
will change the way millions of cancer patients experience
chemotherapy cancer treatments.
Cancer chemotherapy treatment is something that I have known
very personally. A few months after I finished my
treatments, my father was diagnosed with Stage 4 Esophageal cancer (my
poor mother!). Then my aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer. I
had to switch from being a patient, to being a caregiver very quickly.
I soon learned that being a caregiver, a friend, or even an
attending nurse is not easy either. Sometimes, I think it's almost
Thanks to a dedicated oncologist and
lots of prayer, my father is miraculously alive and well today, as is
my aunt. Together we stand as survivors.
Since my first chemotherapy treatment began in 2007
to today, Happy Chemo! has been working to ease the burden cancer
chemotherapy brings by
building a strong network of freebies, discounts and resources
provided by qualified businesses and organizations for those affected
by cancer. We are working to change the chemotherapy treatment experience from one of
negativity and despair into something a little brighter and our goal
is to reach every cancer patient in America.
Sound impossible? I don't think so.
'Impossible' is just a reason for someone not to try.
Join with us and let's do some good