“I’m so lucky to have such a village of people willing and able to help me. My JOY came from God and the people that surrounded me. Living my life with these people who love me brings me JOY!”
I was 37 weeks pregnant with my 4th child when I found out I had breast cancer. I was absolutely terrified. The hardest part was being unable to control the fear that came with being diagnosed. The unknown, waiting for answers, it was such a scary time for me. But I kept seeing and hearing the word “JOY”. I finally decided that hearing and seeing that word everywhere must be God trying to tell me to choose joy even during the most difficult times.
Being 37 weeks pregnant at the time of my diagnosis and hearing the word JOY all the time, my husband and I decided to name her Audrey Joy, who is now currently 8 months old. While trying to find joy in every step, undergoing breast cancer was extremely challenging. Planning to bring our 4th child into the world I knew I would need help, but throwing in cancer treatments, well that brought a new level to the help I would need. In the beginning, I often had a lot of negative thoughts and even experienced panic attacks. But I knew this is NOT how I wanted to live my life, and I knew I had 4 kids and a husband who I needed to remain positive for.
I’m so lucky to have such a village of people willing and able to help me. My husband would take off work and go with me to appointments to take notes, ask questions and clarify things for me that I didn’t quite understand at the time. My mom would drive in from Mississippi to take care of the baby, and my best friend would even take care of my older kids. My JOY came from God and the people that surrounded me. Living my life with these people who love me brings me JOY!
Going through breast cancer, you are forced to make changes in your lifestyle. I slowly have started changing my beauty products, exercising more, and just trying to stay active as much as possible and I’ve truly seen such a huge difference. Along with these lifestyle changes, I leaned on my faith and prayer to get me through these trying times. I still have bad days but with God I know I can handle them. Staying positive is the only way to travel this road. If I could give advice to others going through this journey, don’t be afraid to reach out to those who support and love you. Don’t be afraid to talk about your story and join support groups. I first heard of iGoPink as a support group that I am a part of. These ladies have helped me and supported me in so many ways. And just remember, you are not alone!!
Are you a survivor, loved one, or support system? We’d love to share your story to inspire others across the US.