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Happy 14th Cancerversary, Madame President!

14 years!!! Thank God! :: On February 1, 2005, after months of #chemo, hospital stays, adverse side effects, home nurses and uncertainties, I walked into Johns Hopkins Hospital, to have both of my breasts and #cancer removed. {I had tissue expanders placed, followed by #radiation.} I was 26 years old. This is the day that I celebrate my #Cancerversary.

I wasn’t on social media during my 2004 diagnosis nor did I take any pictures during that time. (I didn’t know that was “a thing”.) I didn’t know any other young women with breastcancer, I wasn’t part of any support groups and I had no financial assistance. I had to figure out how to be a cancer patient alone. It was just me. Kinda…

I had a 9 year old daughter, who started her menstrual cycle weeks after my diagnosis. { I swear it was from stress.} I had my mom, who had just buried her 1 other child, 6 months before my diagnosis. After coping with my little brother’s murder she had to deal with the possibility of losing me to breast cancer. {I swear she is the strongest woman I know.} I also had amazing friends and family members who would’ve given me the world and joined me at every appointment had I asked. I didn’t ask.. I never wanted to be a nuisance or inconvenience.

Having to undergo most of my first diagnosis alone was a gift and a curse. If it wasn’t for my alone time and unique experiences as a young #AfricanAmerican woman with breast cancer, I would’ve never created Shay Sharpe’s Pink Wishes or been able to grant #wishes, meet or give hope to families across the globe.

I would be lying if I said that I believed that my 2004 diagnosis would’ve been my only one. One of the downsides of being diagnosed so young is the length of time (years ahead of you), you’re left with the #fear of cancer returning. {I plan to live to age 100!} Exactly 10 years after my 1st diagnosis the cancer returned thus giving me another Cancerversary to #celebrate. ~ Madame President

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