Meet Our Survivors and Fighters
Sharon Johnson, CN-BA
cause. My goal is to make early detection and diagnosis a reality for all women and men by eliminating the disparities that prevent them from gaining access to quality care.
I didn’t see my OB/GYN yearly
I didn’t do self Breast exams
I didn’t call immediately when I did find the lump
I would not have survived!!!
11 years later Here I am 6 months of very aggressive chemo which most people can’t handle and 6 surgeries all within 18 months
So I urge all my Sisters and Brothers who read my testimony stay proactive go to your yearly appointments do your self exams and encourage others to do the same. Utilize organizations such as Bras for a Cause to gain knowledge and learn of local resources.
Lets continue to fight and support the cure for Breast Cancer
This was only my second mammogram ever …..because I felt that my monthly self-breast examinations were enough. My Doctor scheduled me for many mammogram appointments over the years beginning when I turned 40. I continued to put them off because I felt that I was ok, I told myself “I don’t feel any lumps or bumps in my breast”…
But to my horror and surprise I found out different…you don’t have to feel lumps or bumps because mine was so small (size of a grain of salt) that only by having the mammogram were they able to detect it and to catch it at the zero stage.
I then realized that because I listened to the holy spirt they kept speaking to me telling me to “go get a mammogram” I decided to have a mammogram….it’s important to have your yearly mammograms regardless of what you may be fearful of because you could catch it in its early stages…. We are always fearful of what we don’t want to know and because I listen to the spirt I only had to undergo Radiation treatment no chemo at all.
After four months of Radiation to my right breast I have yearly mammograms and I see my Oncologist every four months along with regular self-breast examinations…. I see my life through different glasses… I appreciate life and all that I have been given, I’m truly thankful because I feel like when you’re a Survivor of such a deadly disease the Lord has shown favor in you and your journey…and I give thanks every day, because there is a reason he allowed me to survive …..I wear a tattoo of a small pink cancer ribbon on my wrist as a daily reminder to me that I am a Survivor Surviving everyday.
My grandmother and aunt were diagnosed with breast cancer before I was born. My aunt lived well into her 80’s, unfortunately my grandmother lost her battle to breast cancer; she was 27. Once I turned 27 my fingers remained crossed until Friday May 6th 2005. I was diagnosed two days before Mother’s Day.
After my meltdown I called my primary care physician and was fortunate enough to see her within a few hours. That visit was my gift. During that visit she informed that she’d had a benign tumor in her breast resulting in a lumpectomy. She referred me to the physicians she’d seen, with the exception of my oncologist. Seeing my doctors was the GIFT!
I had to stay positive and prepared for battle. ‘What if’, couldn’t be a lingering thought. During this time I was a stay at home wife and mother to 4 daughters aged from 7-17. The oldest was graduating that year.
I did genetic testing and was diagnosed BRCA2 positive (which put me at 80% higher risk for cancer in my left breast, and/ or ovaries). The results meant my daughters would get mammograms at 27 and I had to be here for that! I went through chemotherapy from May to August, followed by 3 simultaneous surgeries in September; bi-lateral mastectomy, oophorectomy, tram-flap reconstruction (without in plants), removal of 11 lymph nodes and 6 weeks of radiation. I was done with everything December 2nd that year. My first experience with in-plants was in 2009 including tattoos. In 2016 I began my ten year survivor milestone with tissue expanders for 6 weeks leading to a lat-flap reconstruction. God has strengthened me to endure it all.
Breast cancer is terrifying, downright paralyzing. But I was able to grow my wings and with faith as the foundation of my being, paired with my family, survivor sisters, support groups and amazing physicians they all continue to make the difference in my life. No matter the life situation, I’ve learned to think the best. Now, I focus on living beyond the diagnosis with a message of hope and love in everything I say and do.
I’ve lost friends to breast cancer and their lives still tell stories. A breast cancer diagnosis doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to die. Chose to Fight and choose to Live.
On May 17th, 2017 I was diagnosed with Stage 2B,Triple Negative, Metastatic Breast Cancer. It is a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer. I was 30 years old, a wife, and the mother of a 4 year old. I was on a mission that year to get pregnant for the second time. I was so determined that year to grow my family but unfortunately ended up with Breast Cancer.
I discovered a lump in my right breast while taking a shower the size of a walnut. I was treated at Stanford and had a lumpectomy followed with 16 treatments of chemotherapy and 6 weeks of daily radiation. It was a long journey of treatments that took over 11 months. I am currently giving myself a break to recover both mentally, physically, and spiritually but also plan on getting a bilateral mastectomy followed by reconstructive surgery to reduce a reoccurrence. I am now thankful to the Lord up above to be in remission and expected to continue to do well.
It was a total blow and devastation to my family. I lived a healthy lifestyle and was in total shock. Through the journey I discovered I had the BRCA1 gene mutation that placed me at an 80% chance of breast cancer and a 54% chance for ovarian cancer. I grew up not knowing much about my biological father nor his family medical history. I later found out the gene mutation runs on my paternal side of the family.
My mission in life would be to bring awareness to women about the importance of knowing there family medical history and showing the world that Breast Cancer does not discriminate by age, race, or lifestyle. We as women need to do our routine monthly self-exams and know the signs of early detection.
Together we can work towards a better tomorrow. My mission is to support women affected by this disease.
2037 W Bullard Ave Ste. #173
Fresno Ca, 93711