My name is Sheila and I was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer in December 2009. I am a 25 year Air Force veteran and was diagnosed while I was still active duty. I have been through chemo, surgeries and reconstruction. Seven surgeries to be exact and two bouts with chemo. I'm currently on Herceptin and Flasolodex. I've had tremendous support throughout my journey and my support group has been amazing. I believe God heals and through his love for me I have been healed. I'm currently in remission and I would tell anyone to not give up hope. Hope is really all a Stage IV breast cancer patient has.
The advice that I would give someone just diagnosed is to just believe and fight. Keep fighting and not give up. My outlook on life is so different. I enjoy the small blessings and I look at the small picture. I don't worry about things I can't change and I travel a great deal now. I've found that through my journey more African American women need to be educated about this awful disease. I haven't met too many African American women with Stage IV breast cancer and sometimes I feel alone almost like am I the only one. I know I'm not but sometimes it feels this way. My support comes from GOD, my family and friends and Living Beyond Breast Cancer. I have turned this negative diagnosis into something positive by helping other women face this disease head on. I'm currently an young advocate for LBBC and I serve on the helpline. Many women are scared to call in because they feel no one would understand and that's further from the truth. I really want to connect with other military women who have been diagnosed. When I was diagnosed by a military radiologist I was sent straight to a civilian hospital and I felt alone. No one told me about the road ahead so it was a scarey process for me. Eventually I learned about different organizations that were out there for breast cancer survivors.