This picture was taken on August 25, 2018. It was four days after my 32nd birthday, a day that included hours of mammograms, ultrasounds and biopsies, and two days before I’d hear those words that changed everything.
Today marks three years. I am a three year triple negative breast cancer survivor. I cannot express how surreal I still find all of this— I don’t know that I will ever fully process what I’ve been through.
But today is a celebration of life. Today is a day of deep gratitude for my God, my husband, my family and friends who supported me in countless ways and loved me unconditionally. It is a day to be thankful for my incredible medical team who helped save my life.
I remember the first (and only, due to the state of our world) Survivor's Day celebration I went to in June 2019. I wrote about this before (you can read the full post here) but I want to share this again ...
When we were standing in line waiting to get into the event, a woman was handing out stickers that said "I'm a ___ year survivor." I got a little nervous as she got closer to me. What was I supposed to say? Am I a survivor ? I haven't finished treatment yet, so how could I be? When she came to me, she surprised me by asking when I had been diagnosed. I told her last August and so she wrote on my sticker "9 months." That struck me. I became a survivor the day I was diagnosed, the day I decided to fight.
Never has a sticker meant so much to me before (which is saying a lot since I collected stickers as a kid). I wore the sticker for the whole day, feeling proud of what I have survived. I am a survivor and it is a great feeling.
I think that was a turning point for me. I felt such joy in hearing I was a survivor. And today, I am celebrating the fact that I am a THREE YEAR survivor! Somebody get me a sticker!
And here's a recent picture! July 3rd, 2021 at a family graduation party with my beautiful cousin Marissa (and featuring my Uncle George's hand).
I'm still here
I nearly died
The devil tried
But I'm living with Your mercy on my life
- Martin Smith
All my love,
*This post was originally written on August 27th.