Hello, my name is Kimberly. I am 35-years-old and I am battling cancer for the second time in my life. I didn’t take my first diagnoses too seriously. I was 29-years-old, single, and in college. So, nothing much was on my mind besides school and work. I remember the day I was diagnosed, I had a final exam. I was more upset with the fact that I made a B on my test than hearing the words “cancer”. Little did I know that word “cancer” would be something that would haunt me for the rest of my life. I was told after my treatments that I would never be able to have children. That was a depressing thought because I felt there were limits now being placed on my life. But the good Lord did things differently. On May 26th of the same year, I found out I was 5-weeks pregnant. The doctors told me if I had my child I would have to stop taking my Tamoxifen and there would be a chance the cancer, aka “The Beast”, would come back. I decided to have my child. Her name is Paige and she is my miracle baby. Don’t get me wrong, I was afraid but I couldn’t choose my life over hers and it was the best decision I could have made. I was told because she had been exposed to the cancer medication she would have birth defects but her pediatrician says she actually performs above average. So, once again, God proves that He is good. I was re-diagnosed August 2015 and I’ve been in treatment since then. I was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer with METS to the liver, brain and bones. There have been some MAJOR changes in income, but the bills steadily come. I am basically trying to stay afloat. My landlord is extremely nice; I’m renting her home and she helps watch my daughter at times while I recover from treatments. I found a lot of support in my mom. She was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 18 and she has tried her best to help me cope. I also looked into myself and said I need to fight for my daughter. I had a supportive family but you can have as much support as you can get but you have to fight for yourself. My daughter Paige has brought me so much joy. I do everything for her and what will better her life. It is important for me to keep my daughter in a stable situation. The funding I received from Breast Cancer Charities of America allowed me to do that. I’m now able to work out the rest of my finances. The funding has brought me a lot of comfort and taken a lot of the financial stress off my plate. My advice to newly diagnosed patients is to be kind to their family and caregivers. Although they are not going through the treatments and pain that we are going through, they carry the weight as well. Your family members go through changes as well during your treatment. Also, I know a lot of patients may not want to focus on this, but be active and change your diet. Being active elevates the mood. I encourage patients and caretakers to do research on diet because it really does help fight the disease. Don’t look at this as a death sentence – you can give up or you can do your best to live everyday the best I can. For family, just be patient with your loved ones. This time last year I couldn’t walk I was back and forth in a wheelchair because the cancer went to the knee and then they found 6 brain tumors. I was away from Paige for a month in the hospital. The picture attached is the first time I had seen her since my stay in the hospital. I was told yesterday that one of my brain tumors is gone and another one is shrinking. I’m beating stage 4 cancer. Just because it’s stage 4 doesn’t mean death it just means you need to fight harder.
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