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How Cancer Gave Me Life

By Adrienne Brown

April 5, 2020

https://www.breastofus.com/blog/how-cancer-gave-me-life

My cancer diagnosis gave me life. Something designed to sideline me, actually turned out to be my gift.

Prior to my breast cancer diagnosis, I was living but it wasn’t “my life.” I was the typical “people pleaser.” I did everything for everyone except for me. I wasn’t a pushover, but I didn’t speak up for myself enough. 

I carried those characteristics into adulthood. I longed for buy-in from my family before I made a decision.  I talked myself out of participating in events and clubs that could have benefited me. At work, I didn’t ask questions or participate in meetings. These passive actions hindered my personal and professional growth.

I aspired to be a writer. I envisioned myself traveling around the world to attend meetings and write from different places. However, I didn’t have the confidence to pursue it.

While I am thankful and blessed for the accomplishments I have achieved so far, deep inside, I know I can (and should) accomplish more. I knew I had to put faith over fear, but I didn’t know how.

God has a way of shaking and changing our existence! 

I was diagnosed in April 2019 with stage III breast cancer. I followed the rules and completed a mammogram every year, but my dense breast hid my tumors very well, similar to how I was hiding from life!

I think of those tumors as a representation of my fears. Now that they are removed from my body, I have the faith and confidence to live my life according to His ordinance!

There are three things I’ve discovered since my diagnosis:

1.   I found my voice.  

I contribute to conversations and diplomatically share my opinions. At work, I ask questions in meetings, including those questions that may seem tough. I worry less about how others may respond and focus more on solving a problem.

Additionally, I speak at sessions with young girls and women about the importance of self-care.

2.   I found my passion.

I write every chance I get. Whether the writing is good or bad, I now give myself the space to share my stories and accept feedback from others.

I have joined a writing group with like-minded people who challenge me to be better. Of course, I had to write to be accepted into the group! 

3.   I found my faith.  

My spiritual life has grown tremendously. I have met some amazing people who share my beliefs. I have joined support groups with women who have shown me the benefits of walking in faith. I would never have met these people if it wasn’t for this journey.  

Throughout this experience I found myself.

My diagnosis closed a chapter in my life, but my current journey of faith and confidence in myself is open!

Meet the Breast Cancer Baddie

Adrienne Brown is a Breast Cancer Warrior, mother to two teenage children, and wife to a supportive husband and caregiver. She is a member of Toastmasters, Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, and the Organization of Black Screenwriters. In her spare time, Adrienne enjoys tennis, yoga, and meditation.