Among the many things that define a woman is her strength, yet this attribute is also one of the most understood qualities of any woman because outsiders are unable to neither see nor understand the hardship that created such a strong warrior. Historically, warriors have always been considered a brave or experienced soldier or fighter.  The term maybe predated centuries ago however the essence of female warriors lives on currently. Suzanne “Sue” Nelson is a modern day warrior. My strength is a result of many conquered battles throughout her life; none more strenuous and challenging than her battle with breast cancer.

Typically battles are fought between two opposing parties. However, when battling cancer the battle is against yourself. The sneak attack was subtle and disarming initially. While playing with my children I experienced a discomfort, the battle was starting.  I had discovered a lump which then prompted me to make an appointment with my physician. Even after the professional examination my doctor did not believe the lump to be cancerous simply because a mammogram was performed several months prior.

Despite the disbelief from both parties - the reality of the battle could not have been avoided. I had cancer. The battle had started. One of the main sources of strength during this process was my religious faith. Amongst the many things I did once receiving the news was solicit prayers.

The warrior within me needed to be awakened in order to fight this battle. Naturally, life experiences train you to be tough. However, the level of this fortitude isn’t necessarily actualized until you are put into a flight or fight situation. Breast cancer is definitely one of those situations. Amongst all of eureka effects of the experience was the understanding and awakening of the warrior within me and how strong I could really be.

My recommendation to any breast cancer warrior would be to gain a support group of warriors fighting the same battle as you. In addition to that, don’t attempt to fight this battle blind. The more knowledge that you equip yourself with the more prepared for battle you will be. Finally, accept the situation and work to improve it. Hiding from a battle when it is in your front yard won’t help you win but most definitely help you lose.

In an effort to confront the battle abruptly I made the decision to have a double mastectomy even being a stage one warrior with no evidence of spreading. Each warrior must make the decision that is best for them and their battle.

I want all those battling breast cancer to know there is light at the end of the tunnel. Through faith and support I was able to come out of the tunnel victorious. I am a woman, I am a testimony, I am a survivor, I am a warrior.

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