"I am willing to keep fighting to live the life I love."

I watched my maternal grandmother fight cancer for 20 years as she raised me. I figured that at some point I, too, would end up fighting that fight, but I never realized how soon it would be or that I would be fighting metastatic cancer.

In late 2014, I did not feel well, I noticed a lump in my breast, but because I did not have insurance I did not go to the doctor. When Obamacare came into effect in 2015 and I was able to get insurance I had become quite ill. I had had pneumonia for several months and felt bad, including having pain in my bones. My skin itched, especially the palms of my hands and the soles of my feet.

After my insurance kicked in I went to the doctor and was sent for blood work and testing. On Feb 9, 2015 the mammogram and sonogram showed I had breast cancer. I went for more testing and it was decided that I likely had stage 2 breast cancer so a mastectomy was scheduled. After my surgery, I went to visit the oncologist and was sent for a PET scan. I was so sick that I went to sleep during the scan. I ended up in the hospital because of my lung problems. I was told I had pleural effusions on both lungs. Those were drained and when I got out of the hospital I went back to see the oncologist. This is when I was told I had metastatic breast cancer. It had spread to my lungs, bones and liver. I started chemo because of the extent of damage to my liver. I ended up in the hospital several more times. I was very unsure that I would live to see my 51st birthday.

I was determined though that I would do all I could to not just live but to survive and go back to the animals I loved. (I have always been an animal person and have a not for profit organization for the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife, mainly squirrels).

At this time I am feeling well, but I must take daily medications to help keep the cancer at bay. I know that this could change at any time, but I am willing to keep fighting to live the life I love, dealing with wildlife and animals of all types.