How Cancer Gave Me Life
By Adrienne Brown
April 5, 2020
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.