• Elizabeth Barton

    Survivor


    I was 27 when I was diagnosed. I was married for 8 months, and then I was hit with an unbelievable diagnosis of stage 3A breast cancer. Since then, my life has never been the same. I have learned to accept my new normal. 

    I always dreamed of being a mom, and that dream was immediately shattered because my cancer was estrogen positive, and pregnancy increases the chance of recurrence. It has been six years, and I spent a lot of those years being angry that this is the life that was chosen for me. I would say the last two years have been spent being less angry. I have learned to accept my new life and the life I had prior to breast cancer is no more. 

    Although so much was taken from me both physically and emotionally, I have also gained so much. I have truly learned how tough I am. I fought, and I fought hard. Chemotherapy was awful, and I hated the constant punches and pokes for blood and tests. My body endured so much pain, and it was hard to wake up each day to face the pain. What made me continue to fight and gave me strength was my will to live. 

    I told myself that there was still so much more that I needed to do and see. My husband, family, and friends gave me strength, but it was my desire to see tomorrow that kept me going. I knew that one day cancer was going to be a part of me, and it wasn’t going to define me. That is how I feel now. I am no longer angry, and I’m not afraid of recurrence anymore. 

    I finally feel free of the disease that tried to take so much away from me. If you asked me six years ago if I would go through this again, I would have said no. I did not want to have to do it all over again. If you were to ask me now if I would do it again if I had a recurrence, I’d say yes! I would do it in a heartbeat because I am not done living. Every second fighting for your life is so worth living.

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