This October, join us to raise more than awareness of breast cancer; let’s take action, get screened and support one another. A breast cancer diagnosis is overwhelming, but we can reduce that fear, by enabling our sisters with the right guidance and empowering their actions, so no one faces breast cancer alone. Early detection of breast cancer is often key to a successful outcome. When screened early, you are giving yourself the best chance for successful treatment. Let’s not only survive cancer but ‘Thrive’ in spite of it!
–Dr Safeeya Mohammed | firstname.lastname@example.org
“My name is Candice Pierre-Sooklal. I am a wife, and mother of two and was diagnosed with breast cancer. I’ve done 32 chemotherapy sessions, five cancer-related surgeries, 25 sessions of radiation and hundreds of blood tests. I am currently on maintenance medications, and I am happy to say that since 2018 to date all my CT scans have been clean. I am not just surviving but I am thriving!
Rewind to a couple of months prior to receiving that dreadful news, I felt a small lump on my left breast and honestly I thought nothing of it … I thought that I was too young to get breast cancer. I ignored the mass in my breast. It wasn’t until later that year I began experiencing pain in the breast and only then I made the decision to have a biopsy done and I would hear those terrifying words ‘you have cancer’. It was Stage 2B.”
Diagnosed at age 30
“I got my diagnosis in November of 2014, a few weeks after my 30th birthday. It was a diagnosis that I wasn’t expecting to hear at that young age, married with a three-year-old daughter, Christina. She was with me in the changing room at the doctor’s office and I guess she saw the depressed look on my face and thought something was wrong. My three-year-old looked at me and said, ‘don’t worry mummy, everything will be ok.’ ... I took that as a direct message from God, using my daughter to remind me that He’s got me.
I chastised myself for turning a blind eye to the signs my body was pointing out to me. I had so many questions in my mind. I was confused and scared but with much prayer and strength from God, I was determined to fight this disease and not only survive it but conquer it.
“Whilst adjusting to my diagnosis and discussing my treatment options, I became pregnant with my second child. I was advised to terminate the pregnancy, but I chose not to.
I withheld from having treatment done during my pregnancy and eventually I delivered a healthy baby girl on my birthday in the year 2015, naming her Faith Destiny Sooklal.
I started chemotherapy one week after delivering my daughter, Faith.
I found myself being scared again because of all the grim stories I would hear about cancer treatments but again, I continued to pray, having faith in God and also trusting the medical staff to take care of me and what a tremendous job they all did.”
The cancer returns …
“The cancer returned in 2016 in the same breast and this time I opted to remove the entire left breast. It wasn’t a tough decision to make because in my mind, I had to do whatever it took to survive and conquer this. I was becoming so tired and weary physically, emotionally and mentally. Raising children and fighting cancer is very difficult for both parties. My girls have been through a lot since my diagnosis as my fight affected them as much as it did to me and as a mother, I found myself being physically, mentally and emotionally overwhelmed. I had to find ways to deal with what I was going through and to make their lives easier as well as mine.
“I found myself re-evaluating my priorities, seeking assistance from my family, learning how to limit myself from what was required of me, sharing chores, resting more, worrying less about everything and most importantly, praying to God for wisdom and strength.
I am also forever grateful to all my oncology angels, surgeons and their medical teams, my husband, my two daughters, family and friends for their never-ending support which is very important and crucial in a cancer patient’s life.
“We were able to adapt to this new life and I was able to cope better as a mother, surviving cancer. The fight is indeed a difficult one but making changes in your life is important and necessary for you to survive and conquer any obstacle that life may throw at you!
I’m now an advocate for breast cancer awareness and this is my advice to readers:
• Please do not ignore abnormal signs or occurrences taking place in your body.
• Getting screened is very important because early detection can save your life.
• Yes, it’s a scary situation to be in, but don’t let fear grip you and prevent you from getting screened.
• For those who have been diagnosed with any cancer, the road to recovery is long, rough and tedious, but I implore you today, DO NOT give up the fight.
• And most importantly, pray and have faith in God to help you to fight through this trying time.
Remember, your faith is stronger than your fears!