I am a 52 year old mother of 2 grown children and a loving husband. 2013 I found out I had stage 3 breast cancer on the day our family reunion. This reunion was HUGE and we planned this reunion for an entire year! My first dose of chemo was on my 50th birthday. So much for my fun party- but I will NEVER forget that birthday ever! I had long dark thick beautiful hair and in a puff it was all all gone. It was devastating! For my birthday my friends gave me gift certificates to purchase all kinds of fun wigs to wear. I had a double bilateral mastectomy with many lymph nodes infected. I know struggle with lymphedema in my left arm. Thank goodness I am a right handed gal. I had 5 weeks of radiation. The second day of my radiation which was a breath hold type of radiation, (I had to wear google glasses)…. My little sister took her life! We were good buddies and we lived in the same town with our families. I had no idea she suffered depression!!!! Just like that, her life ended in a second. I was in shock and devistated! My oncologist gave me an excellent pycologist to go to to learn to cope. I continued my radiation with my heels kicking….but realized I couldn’t let my family down and deep down I knew I was a fighter and I had a lot to fight for. This all happened in a tiny town we all lived in. Just having breast cancer was BIG news and then to have a sister take her life….it was just sooo hard on everyone to take in. I am 2 years out as a surviver now and I can honestly say I am a better person for what I had been through. I am Thankful for my breast cancer because it brought me closer to my sister when I was going through it. There is a silver lining in everything in life and I feel grateful. I want to help women cope with having cancer. I want to give them hope. I also want to talk about mental illness and how important it is to talk about everything. I am a children’s author and look forward to going back to work somehow being a Breast Cancer advocate and a positive voice for all women.