Welcome to another #metsmonday and this weeks #voicesofMBC story from Adrian McClenney. Adrian is a member of the Living Beyond Breast Cancer Outreach team, and is also an educator and speaker for the breast cancer community. You can find her on her Facebook community, Hot Pink High Heel Steel Toe Boots.
Can you share with our readers what your life was like before you were diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer
Before being diagnosed with breast cancer my life was pretty much consumed with working and spending times with family and friends. My children were 18 and 9 years of age at the time. I was a bus operator for 18 years and was just beginning to enjoy the benefits of my job. At age 41 I really wasn’t thinking of illness or retirement. My husband and I, had begun to do so many things that we had not did in prior years.
What is your official diagnosis?
I was diagnosed with stage 3b inflammatory breast cancer on May 19th of 2011. Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare but aggressive form of breast cancer. My treatment regimen consisted of 16 cycles of chemotherapy. Bilateral mastectomy and 37 radiation therapy treatments. In March of 2012 I was declared cancer free. In August of 2014 through a pet scan and biopsy learned my original breast cancer had spread to my neck and now would be doing treatment for the rest of my life.
How has cancer changed your life?
Cancer has changed my life in so many ways. There are so many things that once bothered me that, now really don’t mean a thing at all. Things that I had once vowed to never try or do are at the top of my list. Everyday, I try and do something new. I try to never allow anyone or anything destroy my positive energy. The cancer treatment has really affected my energy level so daily chores have become a challenge. Never take anything for granted . I can look at life in a clear state of mind while appreciating the worlds beauty.
My life at this time is challenging myself to do things that help others. There is no such thing called “I can’t” in my vocabulary. I am constantly working everyday to change ” I can’t” to “I did.”
What makes you most happy, and where do you find the most joy?
Being a grandmother is the best thing in the world to me. It is with great pleasure that I can see the smiles on their faces. When I was diagnosed with cancer I had no grandchildren and didn’t know if I would live to see that day come.
What is the worst thing someone has said to you?
The worst thing someone has said to me at this time while going through my journey is that I should get over it and move on past my diagnosis.
Do you think our cure is near?
I think that researchers are working hard on a cure for cancer. I am confident that cancer will be a disease of the past. Never say Never there is nothing impossible in medicine.
What is one “action” point everyone could do TODAY to promote awareness of MBC?
An action point that everyone could do today is post on their social media pages about how cancer has affected someone close to them.
Do you have a favorite poem, song, quote, or work of art that you would like to share with us? My favorite song for my journey is Nicki Minaj Fly
If you would like to share your story with our “Voices of MBC” community, please contact me using the form below or email me at Lkailani@gmail.com
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to let our voices be heard. Your story counts and could just help make a difference in someone’s life today.