To a Beautiful Mother: One Mother’s Personal Journey

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This weekend is Mother’s Day weekend. While your spending time with your mom or kids stay in gratitude. My friend won’t get spend Mother’s Day with her family this weekend. Her son won’t get to burst into her room with a homemade card protesting his love. In honor of her memory, please read and share this interview (in her own words) below.

Meet Keshema.  She has been my friend for 15 years. She is young. She is vivacious. She is a mother and a wife. She is a breast cancer survivor.  Read her story  below.

How did you discover you had breast cancer?

I must admit, I did feel a small lump on my left breast. I went to the doctor to have it checked and they thought it was nothing.  I was advised to keep an eye on it. I did realize the lump was growing in size so I went back to the doctor with my concerns in regards to the lump. I was ordered to do yet another sonogram and was told I was too young for mammograms. On my second attempt to find out what was going on, another doctor referred me to a surgeon to have the lump removed. With my age as a factor and the two “so called clean sonograms”, this surgeon was about to schedule me to have the lump removed. As procedure, he scheduled a biopsy first, and low and behold it was Ivasive Ductal Carcinoma!!!

How old were you when you were diagnosed?

I remember it like it was yesterday! I was 32 years old, I went to the doctor by myself because I was told and more than positive the biopsy results were nothing to worry about! I remember waiting for the doctor to tell me he was just kidding!!! That never happened.

Do you have any advice for other women?

I would say to stay in-tune with your body. I did feel a lump and did go to the doctor. However if you feel like something is wrong it is always a good idea to get several opinions, it can’t hurt. Never take NO for an answer once it relates to your health. Cancer does not discriminate, so mammograms should not either!

Looking back at your journey, is there anything that you would change?

I think that I would live in the moment. I know it sounds strange but when you are in a battle, your thoughts are only to win! Looking back at my journey I know only GOD has made it possible and still is making it possible. It is sad sometimes, but it also makes one realize how precious life is and we should not take anything for granted. If I could change anything I would have slowed down during my journey. I met so many people and found out the hard way what true love is. My family and friends were extremely supportive which is a feeling one cannot explain. The love that was exemplified for me was truly a blessing. I am not advertising the fact that I am a survivor, but I am definitely not hiding it either! It is a feeling only those who have fought can understand. I think that my journey has turned me into a better woman, mother and wife! A friend and survivor once told me you can not have a testimony without a test, and Breast Cancer is my test.

What else do you want women/others to know?

Stay in-tune with your body! Always use your instincts and get several opinions. Life is too short and precious to take anything for granted. Stay positive and visit the doctor annually. All problems in life are obstacles that we have to face to move forward.

I am now loving life and thanking GOD for living in it!

Thanks for your letting me tell your story on the Domestic Life Stylist, Keshema.  You inspire me and I am sure you will inspire the readers of your story as well.  Show your support for Keshema by leaving a comment below.

Original publish date: 10/08/2012

In Memorandum of Keshema Webbe: Updated 5/9/19

I love you so much Keshema. I’m fighting through tears as I type. You were a friend like no other. I’m crying like a baby and I don’t how to stop this river. Distance didn’t break us. Respect, love and admiration kept us together. You fought like the champion that you are. I know you know that I loved you. And I am comforted that I got to tell you one last time.

You were a “live spirit”. A connector. A great mom. A devoted wife. A loving sister and a friend to so many. You do know that traffic on St. Thomas will be a mess for your send off right? Everyone who knew you loved you.

Almost twenty years as friends and you were more like a sister. You’re a part of me always and forever. Eyes all puffy…getting ready to head to these kids’ end of year program. Trying to be a grown up about this but, THIS IS HARD.

There are no tears in heaven. This is my Mother’s Day tribute.

When my voice quivers these words won’t.

When time passes, these words won’t.

Even after we say goodbye, these words will still be here.

Until we meet again my sister.

Love always,

  • Comments ( 14 )

  • avatar
    Keisha Barnett

    My name is Keisha Barnett and I am Keshema’s oldest sister. I knew Keshema had been going to the doctor on and off to have this lump checked. As a matter of fact, I agreed 100% with her decision not to accept the advice of the doctor and “just keep an eye on it”. When I got her call informing me the result was cancer, I had to hold my composure. Some of her thoughts were, “what did I do wrong and why me”. I spoke words of affirmation and positivity to her while my world was crashing down inside. I could not let her know this so I started singing the chorus to Destiny’s Child, I’m a Survivor! I got her to laugh for a second as she begged me to stop because singing is not one of my talents. I knew she had to fight and I promised I would fight right along with her. When we hung up the phone, I just lost it! My emotions were running so high and my thoughts were spinning out of control. She was thousands of miles away across the ocean. How could I be there? How could I hold her hand, sit beside her, wipe away her tears, tell her she is beautiful? I wasn’t in a position to leave my family to be by her side with a young son and baby at the time. I couldn’t sleep for days. Finally, there was the realization that even though I was used to fighting for my sister and coming to her defense, this was one fight where she’d have to go in to the ring alone. It was the fight for her life and I couldn’t cross those ropes with her. I could only cheer her on. So I decided to hold on to my faith! Not for me, but for her. With God by her side, Keshema dug her heels in the ground, fought the good fight of faith and won not only the battle but the war! We now speak almost every day and even spent time together before, during and after her treatment. Though we were already close, our bond and my love for her is even stronger now than ever before. I love you Keshema Webbe.

    • avatar
      Lisa -The Domestic Life Stylist

      Keisha, your support for your sister is quite inspiring! She is more than fortunate to have you in her corner.

    • avatar
      Keisha Barnett

      Lisa, I am the one who’s blessed to have her. I still cry when I think of where we were two years ago. No one can imagine unless you’ve actually walked down this path. Thanks for doing this blog. I pray it gives encouragement to someone else who may be facing this disease to know that God is no respecter of persons. He will do the same for them that he did for my sister. God bless you.

  • avatar

    My name is Denise Abramsen, Keshema’s stepmom, and I recall the day Keshema was diagnosed. I thought I was dreaming…having a nightmare in fact. After the initial shock, the tears and feelings of despair, I prayed so hard that God would make her strong for whatever was ahead; that he would make us strong for her; that she would be healed; that the cancer would just go away. We discussed her options at length. Through it all Keshema remained courageous and determined to beat this disease. She became a shining example and mentor for me when I was diagnosed with cancer two months later. You really can’t imagine what a person is going through until you walk in her shoes. As a sister survivor I say to you, Keshema,and to others on their journey, your testimony is far greater than your test. Life is too precious to give up! Make a decision to live the life that God has promised us – a life filled with love, joy and peace. XOXO!!!

  • avatar
    Jenny Leslie

    Great interview Lisa! Thank you for raising breast cancer awareness through this medium.
    Keshema, your tenacity for life and your faith in God is a luminary to those who have and will traverse this path that you have trod. May you continue to shine! God Bless!

  • avatar
    Jewel Creque

    I first met Keshema through my niece, Nkasi, and I am so happy to be a part of her life. After reading the interview, I started to cry. It just brought me back to when Keshema first told me about her illness. Despite this “obstacle” and the fact that I asked myself why – she’s so young, beautiful and talented, I realized rather quickly what a strong woman she has become. As she said, this situation is her test and it seems to me that she has passed with flying colors. I love you very much Keshema and I know that you will beat the odds and be an inspiration to all of us. One Love and God bless you always.

  • avatar
    Edna Villanueva


    Receive a big hug from one broken heart to another. Keshema was also my friend and the fact she is not here will forever hurt my heart. I pray for her family, so they find the strength to keep going.

    Edna Villanueva

    • avatar

      Oh Edna… I wish that we didn’t have to meet in the comments under these circumstances. I feel your love. Prayers for her family.

  • avatar
    Jewel C. Creque

    I am so unhappy right now. I can’t stop crying and I will not question God. From the time I met Keshema, she has always been the same person – loving, caring, helpful and gave me such sound advice. Yes, she was younger than me, but her advice was always on point. I have cried to her and also laughed with her and she always inspired me to do my best. Whatever decisions I make, she said own it. I am going to miss her so much. My heart goes out to her husband, Denny, and her son, Dillen, as well as her entire family. I know what I’m going through and I can only imagine what they are feeling right now. We knew this was going to happen, but it is still too soon. The last time I saw Keshema she looked fine, but she said she was tired. She was also preparing herself to go on this retreat in Bali. I was surprised because she was leaving her family behind, but she said she needed the break. When she returned, I didn’t hear from her and I asked Denny if she was back yet. He said he was picking her up later that day. I did not see or hear from her after she returned. It probably was for the best because I saw her when she still looked like Keshema with less hair :-). I love you Keshema and I will miss you always!!!!

    • avatar

      A beacon for good advice. Jewel, you hit the nail on the head. That was her. Caring and loving always. Oh how I’ll miss her.

  • avatar

    Oh no! I am so sorry to read this! I will be praying for Keshema’s family and friends. So hard!

    • avatar

      Thank you for your caring heart and words Kim.

      • avatar

        I am also sad by Keshema’s early departure. I was her co-worker from Puerto Rico. She was such an inspiration throughout her battle. We will never know why her; but, certainly was a bliss to have her crossed my path. She touched soo many of us and will forever live in our hearts.

        My prayers go out to her husband, son and family.

        • avatar
          Reeshemah Todman

          My name is Reeshemah and I am Keshema’s first cousin, this is extremely hard on my family. We grew up in a tight knit family so we weren’t just cousins but we were sisters. My heart aches for my Aunt, her sisters,husband,son & the rest of our family. I just knew in my heart that Keshema was going to beat this I wasn’t prepared for this. That morning my mom came to pick me up to go walking and she mentioned to me that a close friend of the family past away that morning and that caught me off guard because two weeks prior to that I saw him and gave him a big hug and kiss. After our walk my mom got a phone call and I knew something was wrong but I didn’t know what it was, I remember her whispering on the phone saying I can’t tell Reeshemah that but I just dismissed it then I saw her eyes get red and her face was flushed so I asked her what’s wrong? Still she didn’t say anything then I asked her for the third time that’s when she looked at me and said the words that I never ever wanted to hear, she said Keshema passed away this morning. Oh goddddddddddd I started screaming and flipping out. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing not my Keshema oh god not Keshema!!!!!… My life will never ever ever be the same AGAIN ever!!!!… I love ? u Keshema with all my heart and I miss you so much. I know Mommy June,Georgie,Auntie Veselee and Raymond are with you now. You definitely earned your wings, fly high my Beautiful cuz, fly high…..

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