My name is Leslie Williams, and I am a breast cancer survivor of 3.5 years.
I had my first baseline mammogram at the age of 35. I came back at the age of 40 as recommended, and my mammogram was negative. In late 2009, at the age of 41, I went two months past my yearly exam after discovering a lump in my left breast. I was almost too busy that year to get a mammogram. That’s when I found out I had breast cancer.
Stage1 infiltrating ductal carcinoma breast cancer, pathology triple negative, changed my life forever. But it wasn’t for the worst. Being a Christian and my faith in God sustained me through it all. Because of breast cancer walks, study trials, events and research funding I was assured that my health was in good hands with the latest technology, services and treatments available to me. All of that matters to someone like me!
Fortunately there is no family history of any cancer, especially breast cancer. Unfortunately I had triple negative cancer which is aggressive and has had, until recently, limited treatment options. However, that’s literally changing by the day.
My prayer is that a cure is found soon!
Leslie Y Williams
Team Stephanie - My Story
In June of 2010, the horrible and insidious disease called Carcinoid Cancer invaded my body and since then my life has never been the same. I have always had digestive issues. Over the years I just looked at it as “my cross to bear”. I figured that it was just the way I was. However, in that fateful spring of 2010, my problems were worsening and I was rapidly losing weight. My symptoms were all over the place and even my hours of scouring the internet to self- diagnose were proving fruitless and unreliable.
I decided to see a specialist and was then referred for a colonoscopy and endoscopy. The best part of that experience was the world’s greatest nap! The worst part was the look on the doctor’s face when it was time to review the results of the test. He said “There are quite a few tumors in there that have got to come out immediately”. We will schedule more scans and take it from there.
That, my friends, was the beginning of a roller coaster ride through life. After numerous tests and scans, it was determined that I had a rare disease that no one knew the cause and there was no cure. Complete cell removal was my only option. A surgery was scheduled so that they could remove all the tumors they could. The hope was that they could get them all and I could go on living the life I had planned.
Unfortunately, things don’t always go according to plans. After the surgery it was determined that although they were able to remove 99% of the cancerous tumors, there were many tiny fragments of cells that would remain throughout my body. There would be no total recovery for me. I would live with these cells inside of me. The hope was that with a monthly low dose chemotherapy shot, they would go to sleep and stay that way.
For two years this plan worked! I was able to live a good life and there were times I almost forgot that I was sick! In December of 2012 it was discovered that the cells were growing again and that I needed another surgery. The surgery was successful in removing the renegade cells and I went through three months of chemotherapy to make sure those bad boys would not be coming back!! I was very sick and lost all of my long luxurious locks. However, the day my husband shaved my head, I felt free. I felt as if I was shedding all of the old things that were weighing me down. I would bounce back and be better than ever before. I would be a new girl! I did and I was!
Fast forward to February of 2016. I began to feel sick again. I lost 30 pounds in two months. The scans showed that my tumors were growing with a vengeance. A third surgery was scheduled. The surgeons opened me up, looked inside and closed me back up. They stated that there is nothing we can do for you. The cancer is all over your body. My oncologist determined that I was in Stage 4 and that my prognosis was unclear. We could experiment with chemo drugs but he could not make any promises. I was tired, depressed and discouraged and I wanted to die. I was tired of fighting and asked God to please take me. The funny thing is, He kept waking me up. Every morning He would nudge me and I would open my eyes to see another day. Well it became clear that He was not through with me. So I began to fight. I started the chemo drug cocktail and I began to push myself more each day in order to get my strength back.
I am so much better now. The saying “It is not over until God say’s its over” is absolutely 100% correct. I wish that I could say the story ends here and that I will live happily ever after. Unfortunately that is not the case. After seven months of chemotherapy, my oncologist has decided to leave me on chemotherapy indefinitely. He does not think I can thrive without it. I am not willing to except this diagnosis.
I have decided to embark on a path which will include alternative medicines and methods of treatment. It would involve the acquisition of equipment for therapy, lifestyle modification training and support and a vitamin/supplement protocol. It is my hope that a more holistic approach will lead me down a path of renewed health and vitality, a path that is not compromised by having to put poison into my body every day.
I have already claimed the victory because I know that I am a child of God and that he loves me. He has already demonstrated this in so many ways. My presence on earth is a testimony to his mercy and grace.
Be blessed my friends….
In September 2005 I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 36yrs old. Between September and December of 06 I had 5 surgeries (Lumpectomy, ports, Hystermectomy, and reconstruction), 4months of chemo, 6 weeks of radiation, and Tamoxifin. Crazy year but to date I am 7.5 yrs clean. I am thankful every year when I return for check ups and nothing is found.
"Life might not be what we expected, but while we're here we might as well dance!"
In 2011 I was diagnose with Lymphoma Cancer in the final stage. After several month of fighting and going through chemotherapy I was able to win my first bout with this illness. Though the battle to recover from some of the other health issues that occurred due to the treatments I have been blessed to be a survivor. I made a vow that I would share my story and do all I could do to spread awareness and be a blessing to anyone that may be fighting through a similar illness. Soon the mission grew to reach anyone that was having any type of struggle in life...
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