In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Dana spoke with GlossMagazineOnline about how she overcame her battle with breast cancer. Here’s her survivor story, in her own words:
I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 42-years-old. When I found out, I thought, ‘Not me! What?’ Then my survival instinct kicked in, and I was ready to fight. I have young children, so I was very careful breaking the news to them. However, we are a close family, and they knew something was wrong with mommy. I assured them that I was not about to die, then I had to make sure that did not happen. For treatment, I had to have surgery and chemotherapy. I had heard a woman say that she worked out during her chemotherapy and sailed through her treatments. So I worked out most days and did really well with my treatments. My life stayed pretty close to normal. I credit my children and my family life as a distraction from what I was going through.Initially, sure, there were some things I misunderstood about the disease. I am still learning about breast cancer. Fortunately, research has been very prominent for breast cancer, and I have benefited from women before me, who were willing to participate in clinical trials to help further developments and cures. I started getting information. I started doing my own research. But the book that helped me the most was the Bible. Nobody but Jesus. I don’t know how anybody goes through hell without the Lord. But God! He is the author and finisher of my faith.
There is only one way to help prevent cancer from being a death notice, and that is early detection. Ladies, you have to go to the doctor and have regular examinations. I know early detection is what saved my life and is definitely the last thought I want to leave with every woman. Know your body and see your doctor. Also, there are agencies all over the city that have free mammogram screenings. A Silver Lining Foundation has an incredible program. The information is available for those who want it.