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A few weeks ago, I was sitting in the chemo room with my mother-in-law, who is in partial remission from a form of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I noticed a man about my age waiting with his wife. My first thought was, “Wow, he’s so young to be in treatment for cancer.” Then it dawned on me...he is about my age.

It was like a slap in the face and an ugly reminder that I am so young at the age of 42 to be in the midst of my battle with breast cancer. The same thing happened to me while looking at the Susan Koman Race website and saw a little boy kissing him survivor mom at the finish line. My initial thought was how sad it was that such a little boy had a mom with breast cancer. Next came the realization that my youngest son was about the same age as that little boy.

Sometimes, I get so caught up in my treatment and every day life that the stark reality of having cancer can sneak up on me from out of nowhere. I’m incredibly adept at handling a crisis so maybe this is a form of crisis mode. I’m also very dedicated to enjoying every moment of life, which would be impossible if I focus on the dark side of cancer diagnosis every day.

I choose to focus on the positive and find the rainbows through this storm of breast cancer. Sometimes, the storm gets worse before it gets better...maybe that’s what happened to me that day in the chemo room. It’s okay to have dark days in our journey. It’s important to experience those feelings and then move past them.

I have Stage III breast cancer at a young age with young kids and a whole lifetime of living left to enjoy. There are times when I still cannot believe that I have cancer, but I refuse to let that fact get me down. I had to put breast cancer back in its place today...I hope you can do the same!

Beverly McKee, The Breast Cancer Warrior

Beverly McKee The Breast Cancer Warrior
St. Louis, MO

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