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Mara’s Story of Young Survivorship 2017-07-28T05:56:00+00:00

“The storm is raging, but my soul says YES, Thank You Lord.”
by Mara Finch

mara_1

I am 32 and diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. I am so sad, but feel blessed. I have a tumor in my right breast and cancer in a couple of lymph nodes. I am so terrified of chemo. Lately when going to the doctor’s office, I am seeing young Black women. I cry every time. Many of the new cases are younger than me. My work here is not done. I must help spread the word and save my sisters.

I was diagnosed before Christmas on December 22, 2010, but the speculation was there much sooner. I had felt something earlier in the year, but I wasn’t really sure. What really alarmed me, on top of having the lump, was that I had gotten upset about something and the anger triggered the lump to hurt more. I went to see a doctor and he did a breast exam and the lump was so big, you could hold the lump without holding my breast. I was diagnosed with metastatic ductal carcinoma with a focal infraction. It was very visible, the obvious was there, but he decided to order the mammogram. He ordered a biopsy, which irritated the lump. They finally gave me a diagnosis and the doctor ordered 6 rounds of chemotherapy, assigned once every 3 weeks for 6 months.

The cancer is at stage 3, which means the tumor is larger than 5cm in the right breast (the size of a full lemon). I also have several affected lymph nodes in the armpit area. I found the mass myself and it was huge! It seemed to have grown almost overnight. It was so damn big that I thought my breast was having a baby!!!! I think I knew something was always there, but I didn’t I pay attention to it. I always had big, lumpy breasts so I was passive about things. I didn’t have any knowledge either. I NEVER did a breast exam nor had a mammogram. It never entered my mind to check it out and I didn’t know women of color were dying behind the scenes. It just never came to me as an important issue. I’d always seen things here and there on television and would feel sad about it, but I did nothing about myself.

We have lost 3 friends to different types of cancer in the past couple of years, it tares at my gut. It pains me to think about it. They all had situations where the cancer was missed during previous screenings, but detected at stage 4. Amazing. How is this possible?

I hate this. I hate cancer. I hate to see us die. The pain in my breast is one I’ve never known or felt in my life. When it starts to hurt it continues to hurt. The answer is out there. Man can’t make everything happen for us. Man won’t even vacuum the floor nor do the laundry.

God is a good God. He can do anything but fail. He works in mysterious ways and I believe he grabs the attention of those he should have had all the time. I’m blessed and I’m so happy knowing this organization and a few others are getting the word out there because we need to address this issue. Like me, you can be scared all you want, but just know that cancer is like our childhood games (it hides, so we should certainly seek to find it).
I am a big fan of music, fashion, and beauty and am blessed with these skills as well. I included some pics from when I cut off all of my hair and some pics from my promo modeling and music events.

I urge all to get screened. If you think you feel something the doctor doesn’t feed, do all you can to be seen and heard by someone who can help address the issue. Go to the ER, urgent care, somebody who will listen. God did.