I am BECKY. I am not cancer. But as much as I try to remember that, it seems that my life has been defined to some degree by my diagnosis of invasive breast cancer in 2012. At the time I was diagnosed I was getting ready to celebrate my 32nd birthday, happily married and raising two young children. I was also working full time and a full time graduate student. Cancer was more than a speed bump; it was a complete road block that I am still trying to figure out how to navigate around three years later. Cancer has changed me significantly. In many ways, it has honestly been for the better. I recognize that each day is a gift and truly appreciate every day I’m given. I feel more deeply and am far more compassionate than before, having a tendency to see the pain beyond the eyes in other people. I pause to give thanks for kind acts, and I no longer hold back telling people how much I love them. Despite all of these good things, cancer has also tainted me. I have major memory loss issues from treatments. I live each day in physical pain from multiple surgeries and the medicine I take to prevent recurrence. Also, let’s just say that losing all of your lady parts isn’t exactly helpful in the physical intimacy department, something that is still an important part of life for a woman in her mid-30s. And despite being “no evidence of disease”, my emotional well being is frazzled. Not a day goes by that I don’t find myself thinking about the possibility of my cancer coming back. With each headache or hip pain, my thoughts automatically jump to worst case scenario. There are many days that the smile on the outside is masking deep pain and fear on the inside. Most people don’t see it because I’ve gotten pretty good about putting on the “brave” face of a strong “warrior”. Despite the struggles of survivorship, I know I am still here for a purpose and I am determined to live according to God’s purpose for my life. Everything I’ve been through with my own cancer experience, I want to turn into something positive by sharing with other young women who are diagnosed. If I can help calm the fear, ease the burden, and make the path seem more bearable for a newly diagnosed woman, then I’ll have achieved my mission. I have personally seen the power of one voice in the fight against cancer. Therefore, I will never stop educating, advocating, and encouraging women (and men) who are battling cancer for their lives. This world has incredibly talented, gifted and bright minds, who can collectively come together to find a cure for this awful disease. I will continue participating in clinical trials, reaching out to legislators, and educating the public until we know what causes cancer, how to prevent it, and how to cure it.