Breast Cancer Awareness Month: One Mother’s Personal Journey

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

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  • Comments ( 6 )

  • 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
    Anonymous

    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.

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