In the middle of a pandemic…

I woke up feeling numb today. I am so sad with how the world is right now. Not only have we had to deal with a pandemic, but now we have to deal with racism and riots.

I am trying to stay away from social media. I know everyone has opinions and I don’t want to argue with anyone. I didn’t want to write all of this on Facebook. Since this is my personal blog I felt more comfortable sharing my feelings on this platform.

The last 3 months have been stressful enough. Being quarantined, homeschooling and trying to stay sane. I tried to keep the calm in my house so that I wouldn’t stress out my kids. All of this while trying to stay healthy and take care of me. As if being a mom with cancer isn’t enough to deal with!

So now, I am angry and sad about everything happening in our country. People being killed and cities being destroyed. Although there have been some amazing stories of people coming together to make a positive change. It is still not enough. What happened to George Floyd was horrific and cruel. But I cannot condone Police Officers or anyone else being killed. How is that justice?

I am not black, but some of my best friends are black, and one day they will have to have a discussion with their children about all of this. They will have to explain to their children that the color of their skin makes a difference in the eyes of some ignorant bastard. My heart breaks for them. No parent should have to tell their child that they will not be judged on who they are as a person, but on the color of their skin. I also have a nephew who is a young black man and I worry about him everyday. He is like a son to me and I would lay down my life for him!

Being a Latina I have never been shielded from racism or prejudice. Growing up in Boston I had my share of racial tension and I never turned a blind eye! I learned to be an advocate and to use my voice to help all people; gay, white, black, transgender, etc.

This morning I had to take a minute to allow myself to feel all of these emotions. I cried as I hugged my boys. They stared at me asking why I was crying. I just told them that I love them.

In that moment I had to realize that despite how sad I was feeling I have to be selfish. Today I have to take care of me, because if I don’t then what good am I to my boys? I have to go get my treatment today, and I have to keep being strong. If I don’t, then I won’t be around to teach my boys to do better. I won’t be around to raise good men, men who will help change this world for the better. Hate is taught and I refuse to allow my boys to be jaded by this world.

As I write this, I am sitting at the Breast Cancer Center waiting for my appointment. I am sitting here alone in my thoughts. If Cancer has taught me anything, it’s that I don’t have time for hate in my heart. I don’t want to live like that. I want to live out whatever years I have left with love in my heart and learning to be better and do better.

I hope we continue to share the positive stories. The stories of people trying to do the right thing, without violence. I pray that something good comes out of all of this. I pray for change and a better world for my boys.

This is living with Metastatic Breast Cancer…

I wish life was simple and that living with Metastatic Breast Cancer was a straight and narrow path, but unfortunately it is a rollercoaster of emotional distress and medical jargon. Essentially, you don’t get a break, and when you think you are in the clear and that you can finally breath, something happens to spiral your life out of control.
My last PET scan came back with a questionable spot on my right femur. My oncologist didn’t seem concerned, but requested an MRI just to be sure. Because of my bone disease they were concerned about an impending fracture. I have had a cyst in my femur for years. My right leg is the leg I broke when I was 2-years-old and it’s what started the whole saga with my bone disease, before there was even a name for it. The cyst was never an issue before, but they saw some “activity” (I really hate that word). I blamed all of the caution and concern on my Ollier’s disease. Right before Thanksgiving Richard and I were on high alert. We kept it to ourselves because we didn’t want to worry our family until we had more info. We thought no need to panic.. yet!
I read the results of my MRI on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. I was in the car with my family when I got the email that my results were posted on MyChart (the patient portal). As I read the words “metastasis” I tried to hold back the tears as my husband, mother-in-law and kids sat in the car with me. We were on our way to have dinner with Richard’s grandparents in West Palm Beach. I tried so hard, but I couldn’t keep it together. I finally told Richard what I had read. We cried and tried to deal with the shock. We kept it to ourselves. Again, not wanting to alarm our family. I already had an appointment scheduled with my oncologist for that upcoming Monday. We decided not to freak out and to wait until my appointment to get more details about what it all meant. But that weekend for us was brutal.
Being who I am, I tried to stay positive. I felt as if the results were wrong. I thought the person reading my scans was not familiar with my bone disease and they were just overreacting. Because of my history with the bone metastasis they were just assuming the cancer was back. I prepared for both scenarios, but that Monday I walked into my Oncologist office completely convinced it was my bones acting up and not Cancer. Richard walked in preparing for the worse. I am glad he did so that this whole things wouldn’t hit him so hard. My oncologist wasn’t 100% sure what was going on. My tumor markers were low and my last scans were clear. So she ordered a biopsy. If you have never had a bone biopsy then you will never understand the level of pain you have to endure. They had to use a hammer to get into my bone. But I handled it like a trooper. My pain threshold is insane. I am still shocked at how I even deal with this stuff. Again, we kept this all quiet. For the last week we have played the waiting game. Waiting for the results of this biopsy was torture. I have replayed every scenario in my head. The good the bad. The what if? My hope was that all was fine. My gut told me it was nothing, but my mind kept telling me I was going to have to strap on my boxing gloves. 
Today, December 19, 2019 we got the news. The cancer is back! I never thought I would have to say those words! It was naive of me to think I could live the rest of my life without a reoccurrence. The reality of living with Metastatic Breast Cancer is starting to kick in. This is going to be my life. I will have highs and I will have lows. Sometimes the road will be steady and smooth and then we will hit every pothole imagineable. We are going to get fat tires and sometimes we will just burst into flames. I guess I was just so sure that the medications and all the treatments would keep working. I knew eventually I would have to try new meds, but I thought I had more time. I had two good years, and now we move on. 
I am still processing all of this and what it means. In the meantime, we are trying to focus on the good news, because in my mind there has to be a silver lining. The good news is that my onocologist already has a plan and has called in a few favors.  I already have an appointment with the Radiologist for Monday. We are going to zap this one spot, just like we did my spine. Another positive is that the Breast Cancer hasn’t changed. It’s still hormone positive. It hasn’t changed to Her2 negative or Triple Negative. That would require other treatments. My body built up a resistance to my current medication, which was a chemo pill called Ibrance. So now we have to find the right medication. This means a new pill, and no IV Chemo.  My Oncologist reassured me that there are options, we just have to find the right combo. My doctor also ordered a new blood test ( Guardant360- liquid biopsy). It will try to pinpoint certain characteristics in my blood and will help them determine which medication will work to keep the cancer at bay. I am not looking forward to the side effects of radiation, or the new medication. I pray that my body can tolerate everything and that it all works in my favor. I pray that I will be NED (No Evidence of Disease) again, and that I will have another 10+ years in the clear. I am trying to be realistic and I am taking it one day at a time. 
The pure rage I am feeling is REAL!! The disbelief that I have to go through this again is weighing heavy on my heart. The thought of Richard and my parents having to see me go through this again is killing me. We are NOT telling the boys. I am not going to ruin their Christmas or traumatize them. They are too young to understand what this all means. My boys deserve to have a great childhood not worrying about their mother. 
A part of me is feeling guilty for being so mad at God right now. I feel like it was such a tease to think that I was cured. There is NO cure for Metastatic Breast Cancer. I know I am not dying today, or tomorrow, but the thought of this fucking disease taking my life one day infuriates me. I feel like my faith is being tested again. But I will continue to trust God and to put my life in his hands. I will continue to control what I can. My doctor told me other than this I am healthy, so my body should be strong enough to handle what is to come. 2019 is ending with a bomb in my face, so I am praying that 2020 will bring some much needed healing and good news. This Green Chemo Ninja is back in action. 
here we go again
Moral of the story; You don’t know what battles people are fighting, so be kind to one another. Life is too short for all the bullshit. Be grateful for what you have and stop being angry, that sucks all the life out of you. I only need positive vibes right now. I don’t want anyone’s pity and I am not sharing this to stir up anything. This is my life and I made a choice to be public with my diagnosis, so I have to keep it real. I don’t need anyone to have the right words to say. Sometimes being present and silent is enough. I just want to know that I am loved and thought of. I want to know that I am apart of your prayers. 
Richard and I are okay. We are ready to fight it out. But, if you feel the need to do something, then please donate to Cancer Reasearch. Donate to Metavivor or any other agency that focuses on research. I would love to see a cure in my lifetime. 

Why Green??

I get asked all the time, why the color green? Why “Green Ninja”? Why the green hair? Well, here’s an answer for that…..

Green hasn’t always been my favorite color. I used to love the color blue because of the ocean. I also loved Tigers and other spirit animals. I always liked turtles, but they weren’t my favorite animal. Turtles eventually became my favorite animal once I started to learn more about them and how resilient they are. I love the idea of turtles being strong because of their shell. They are known for their quiet strength. They also remind you to take it easy once in a while. There’s no rush.

One day I read something about turtles being able to carry the weight of the world on their backs and that resonated with me. I have always felt this pressure to be strong, so that I could help others be strong. I don’t know why. It was never something that I was told I had to do. I just always felt the need to help others and that lead to my nonprofit work. Over 25+ years of working for nonprofits and helping my community.

My love of turtles eventually started my love afair with the color green. I love all shades of green and if you google the color green it symbolizes “nature and life”. It can also symbolize growth and healing. If you google what turtles symbolize, they stand for longevity. Turtles are known to live a long life. Do you see the Irony in all of this? Someone diagnosed with Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer shouldn’t be expecting to live a long life, but I do. I know my story is not done yet.

When I was creating my blog I asked other Breast Cancer survivors for ideas on names. One survivor, Nancy, told me she had created a Facebook group called “Fancy Nancy and her Purple Ninjas”. It was a way for her to keep her family and friends informed. (Thanks Nancy ❤️). I loved it. So when I created my page it was only natural to incorporate a color that not only has so many positive meanings, but that would also give me the strength I needed. I embodied the persona of the “Green Ninja” to help me face my every day challenges of undergoing cancer treatment. Being the Green Ninja gave me the strength I needed to fight for my life.  But now, as the Green Ninja I still feel the overwhelming pressure to be strong and to continue to be strong for others. Some days it’s exhausting. But then I look in the mirror and see my green hair and it reminds me that I got this. I can continue to fight and to inspire others. When people see my green hair I am sure they think it’s just a fashion statement, but it’s so much more to me. I feel like it’s such a great conversation starter. Now when I see people with funky hair colors it makes me think about what their story could be, and I smile.

My hope is that others will find their inner “Green Ninja” and they find the strength they need to overcome any obstacles that life throws at them. This hope is not just for my fellow Breast Cancer Survivors and Thrivers, it’s for everyone. We all have our battles to fight and I think we have to stop being so secretive about those battles. We need to share our stories so that others know they are not alone.


IMG_7484 (3)

My new tattoo! So I did this thing when I was 17 years-old. I drove to New Hampshire and got a tattoo without my parents knowing. It was a terrible tattoo, but I thought I was so cool. I paid $50 to get my little sun with the Puerto Rican flag. Then in college I got another tattoo right underneath my sun. So for the past 20+ years I have wanted to get my tattoos covered up. I wanted them to mean something. So I turned my “tramp stamp” into a mommy tattoo. This is me, Sebastian and Leo swimming along, carefree and strong. This is my constant reminder to keep going and to teach my boys to be resilient. I want my boys to learn something from all of this, becasue there has to be a reason for all of it!! Speacial shout out to my amazing tattoo artist Virginia, who did a great job covering up both tattoos to create this one. (Picture courtesy of Virginia, from Kreepy Tiki. Her Instagram page is virginiamarvel). 


**Side note for those of you that took the time to read this. I had a PET Scan last week and I was getting nervous. My calcium levels have been high and my Oncologist made me stop all my supplements. I was worried something might be going on with my bones. But I prayed about it and I tried to be at peace with whatever the results were. I was able to see my results on Thursday and I am happy to report that I am till NED. 20 months and counting….. This was great news since this August is my 3 year Cancerversary. I was officially diagnosed on August 26, 2016. That is why August is always a tough month for me. The 5 year survival rate for Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) is 22%. The median survival is three years. About 114 people die each day from MBC. Let that sink in for a minute…

I get all these Facebook reminders from the last 3 years and I just cry. Most of them are happy tears, grateful tears. Some are “holy crap tears”. I was looking through some old pictures the other day and I can’t believe everything I have been through. I saw a picture of myself while going through Chemo. I was bald. No eyebrows, no eyelashes and completely swollen. I don’t remember that version of myself. Maybe in this situation Chemobrain is a good thing. But today this Green Ninja is standing proud. Thank you to all my Ninjas. All of you who have followed my journey and who have stood strong with me and my family.


“I Choose Joy”

 -Myra, The Green Ninja 

Finding Your Tribe!

Last year I attended the 2018 YSC Summit (Young Survival Coalition) in Orlando, FL. I got in my car and drove by myself. Not sure of how I would feel or who I would find at this conference for Young Breast Cancer Survivors. There were women I was following on social media that I was looking forward to meeting, but I wasn’t sure how I would be recieved. I was lucky to find some amazing women that could relate to alot of what I was feeling. After going through Breast Cancer a lot changes and not everyone can relate. I was lucky enough to connect with a lot of women, more specifically I connected with 12 women that have changed my life. For the past year we have created a group text and we have poured our hearts out to one another. We have screamed, cried and laughed together. We have shared our struggles of being moms who have survived Breast Cancer. We have shared our frustrations with reconstruction and how our breast will never look or feel the same. We have laughed at the ourselves, because sometimes all you can do is laugh.

All year we’ve been planning to attend the 2019 YSC Summit in Austin, Texas. We even had T-shirts made that say “Breasties Girl Gang”, and just like that we were like 13 year-old girls again. Excited to meet with our Breasties. Excited to have a slumber party and just hang out.  Excited to share tips about food and make-up. We were also excited to wear our cowboy boots to the Western night. We rocked those cowboy boots like it was our job!! LOL

Seeing these women again felt so natural. It felt like no time had passed. We instantly connected and it all made sense. It’s funny because without Breast Cancer we might seem like the most unlikely bunch. We are so different and alike at the same time. We all have our own story and Cancer has given us an indiscribable bond.

The best way to describe it is compairing us to “The Breakfast Club” ( BTW, I love that movie). Our friendship makes sense and we each bring something unique to the table. Some are quiet and some are loud. We have different careers and interests. And eventhough we all live in different states and live different lives, we can still be compassionate and lend an ear when one of us needs to vent because she’s having a bad day.

We have all had a different diagnosis, in regards to the type of Breast Cancer and the stages. Some of us are hormone based, some are HER2 +, some carry the BRCA gene, and some are Triple Negative. Some were pregnant during Chemotherapy. Wow! Talk about a serious Warrior!! Even our reconstruction has been different. Some of us have implants, some had the DIEP Flap. I am the only one in the group that is Metastatic, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I look at these beaufitul women that live everyday with the anxiety of a reoccurance. My heart breaks for them and I would rather it be me. I would carry the burden for these women, if it meant that they would be okay and would get to live long amazing lives.

Truthfully, it causes me some anxiety to be around other women with MBC. Last year I met a beautiful soul, Marily. She was a sweetheart and I was looking forward to seeing her again this year. Unfortunately, she passed away. I was heart-broken. Honestly, I don’t know how to feel about all these women dying. I am torn between feeling survivor’s guilt, fear that it could be me and sadness for their families. But then, I meet amazing women like Terlisa, who has been living with MBC for 18 years. She gives me so much hope. She is so positive and an advocate for MBC community. But then there are other women that I just want to punch in the face. I met a women who has been living with MBC for 15 years and she told me she was “over it” and just wanted to die! I didn’t even know what to say to her. I admit I was angry, because there are so many of us that could only pray to make it that long. I am sure she has her own issues, but to say that to someone that is going into her 3rd year…. I just had to stay away from her for the rest of the summit. So now do you see my dilemma???

I have said it before. There’s a lot of politics within the Breast Cancer community. We are not all going to get along. We all have our own way of dealing with our diagnosis. But I will be damned if someone tells me that I am doing it wrong!! That I’m too positive, or that I shouldn’t believe in the power of prayer. I try to live my best life everyday. We should all try to do that, even if you are not terminal. I refuse to let someone tell me that I can’t consider myself a “Warrior” or a “Survivor” because it confuses people. WTH??? I don’t feel the need to shove Cancer down people’s throats. It’s not my way of doing things. Every moment is an opportunity to educate someone about Metastatic Breast Cancer, and Cancer in general. My green hair is a perfect example. I have had people come up to me and say “Do you know your hair is green?” (obviously they think they are funny)… to which I reply with a straight face.. “Yes, I know, the Chemo did it!”… SILENCE…. ahaahahaha  I have had people feel like “A-holes” because they have made a comment without knowing my history. I could be aggressive, or I could make a better choice. I can just share my story so that they learn something. Seriously, I feel like people will be more receptive to hear what you have to say if you’re geniune and without all the hostility.

This year I attended a “Special” workshop for MBC thrivers. The topic was leaving a legacy. I am not ready to die, so it was very emotional for me.  One thing I did take away from the workshop was making sure I have that core group of people who will tell my story. I know I can rely on my Best Friend LaToya to write my story (She doesn’t know I have assigned her this task yet… SURPRISE… LOL). But I know I can rely on my Breasties to tell my story and to never let my boys forget who their mommy was.

The point of all of this is to say that I am blessed. I am so grateful for my tribe. No one should go through this journey alone. Everyone should have a tribe that supports them 100%. We share alot of things. Not only about the side effects of treatment, but how to try to balance everything; worklife, mommylife, etc. We talk about our bodies and what we can do to feel better about ourselves. I know that I have a “safe space” to vent. It’s a judge-free zone. I can say what’s on my mind and know that they understand. And even if they don’t understand, I still feel validated and supported. I know I am not alone. It also makes me feel somewhat normal to know that I am not the only one struggling with the aftermath of chemo, radiation and surgery. There’s no cookie cutter way of dealing with breast cancer. So even if you don’t have cancer, I pray that you find your Tribe.  Everyone should have that person they can call when they are having a bad day. I love my BGGs and I am looking forward to the 2020 YSC Summit.


“The Initiation Sucks, but the Sisterhood is Real” 

Saying goodbye to 2018!

I started writing this post on Tuesday, December 11, 2018. I finally remembered to post it… LOL Happy New Year!!


I was so excited about this Christmas season. We bought our tree, decorated it and our house was feeling festive. Then all of that changed. We finally hired someone to fix the walls that have been destroyed since Hurricane Irma. Yes, it’s been over a year and our house had been leaking. We finally got the roof fixed and we were so happy. But we had no walls, and I insisted on getting the dry wall fixed so that our house would feel complete for the holidays. It’s funny how we get fixated on the small stuff. So that job turned into a disaster. The mess caused by the dry walls alone is awful, but having the popcorn ceilings taken off at the same time is just a bad combo. So our house is a mess and I am beside myself. I have no idea what to do with this mess of a house. Especially since I am having surgery on Wednesday the 13th. We have eaten out every night because I can’t cook in my dusty kitchen. We have stayed at a hotel so that the boys and I wouldn’t have to breath that dust, and we have been living like gypsies.

The stress on my shoulders is starting to weigh me down and I know my husband is also feeling it. I am feeling defeated and a little broken today. That is definitely not the way I want to feel going into this surgery. But this surgery wasn’t part of the plan. I was going to wait until next year, but my surgeon recommended I do it now since we have already met our deductible. Doing the surgery next year means more money out of our pockets. The only good thing about the surgery is not I am not getting expanders or implants or any foreign objects. I gained weight so that my surgeon could use my own body fat to try to fix my skin. Whoever says or thinks Breast Cancer is a FREE Boob Job needs to get stabbed in the eye. Seriously! You need to reevaluate your life because you are an Asshole!! This is not fun and it takes a toll on you emotionally and physically. I am reminded every day that I had Breast Cancer ( I say HAD because I refuse to let Cancer think it has a home in my body). Everytime I look in the mirror I see it! And everyday I feel the side effects of the medication. So I am hoping that fixing the skin and making my chest look somewhat normal will make me feel as normal as possible. I know I will never have the same body. This new one is broken and scarred.

I have toyed with the idea of posting a picture of my Frankenstein chest. I was going to post a picture for Pinktober, but changed my mind. Maybe I chickened out. You have to understand that sharing a picture of my broken body makes me feel completely vulnerable, but I feel like it needs to be done. I finally got the courage to post a picture. However, out of respect for my husband I will not be posting that picture. Instead I will leave it to your imagination.



This is Breast Cancer people. It is not a cute pink ribbon. It is not a free boob job. This is raw and this is real.  This is my new normal. After radiation and chemo my body doesn’t heal the same way. This is why I am having surgery to fix my skin, so I could feel more comfortable. I would like to wear a tanktop or a V-neck without having to worry. I know people make jokes because it makes them feel better, but they are not thinking about the person who has to deal with the pain of surgery, and having to put themselves through all this reconstruction just to feel whole again. I get it!!!! I know that making jokes lightens the mood. I know I also use that defense mechanism, but not everyone is like me. Not everyone can laugh at themselves. I wish people would think before they speak. You don’t know anyone’s story. You can’t assume that all is well with me just because I look healthy and I have a smile on my face. I work so hard to keep myself healthy and to not let Cancer control my life. I wish people would be more compassionate.

Recently some people in my life have also been diagnosed with Cancer. I try to be a beacon of hope for them. It doesn’t take a lot to just be there for someone in need. I pray for them daily. I pray for their families and I pray for healing.

We have also lost a lot of warriors within the Metastatic Breast Cancer community. The survivor’s guilt is real. But who am I to question God’s plan? All I can do is make sure my time here counts for something.

God has a funny way of putting the right people in your life at the exact time you need them. I had to get some tests done today before my surgery tomorrow. I was so annoyed and felt so rushed to get everything done. But the nurses were great and lifted my spirits. People I had never met knew the right words to say to let me know that I was going to be ok. Thank you God for putting Angels in my life to remind me that I am not alone.

I am trying to stay positive and to reflect on what a great year 2018 has been. So many great memories. From finding out I was NED to going on a once in a lifetime trip with the hubby to Europe.

Winning the title of National Big Sister of the Year was such a blessing. Seeing my Little Sister Saleen find her voice as she shared our story. Wow! What an honor to be part of her life. I am so proud of her and I look forward to seeing her grow into her power.

I turned 40 this year and I am grateful to be alive. I am embracing the first white hair I have found. Growing old is a privilege and I am enjoying every minute. I have made some great memories.

I also won an amazing photoshoot that made me feel gorgeous. Thank you to Brenda Arce for nominating me, and Thank you Michelle Citrin for choosing me for this gift. I felt powerful and you captured the Green Ninja perfectly!

With all of this going on, we have to jump on an airplane to spend Christmas in Puerto Rico. 2018 has been one heck of a ride, but I am exhausted. My body is tired and my mind needs a break from all this thinking.

I am asking all my prayer warriors to take a minute to say a prayer for me. Pray that my body heals quickly and that this will be my last surgery. I am looking forward to 2019 being the year that my body and mind can finally heal from all of this.

2 years and counting…..

Sorry for the late post. I started this blog last month, but the last two months have been nonstop. Some great things have happened and some not so good things. But I rather focus on the good things.

I was chosen out of 150,000 volunteers to be the 2018 National Big Sister of the Year. Wow! What an honor and a blessing. I have been traveling with my Little Sister Saleen and we have been telling our story. As a mentor it has warmed my heart to see this little girl’s self confidence blossom. She was able to go on an airplane for the first time, and she spoke to a group of over 900 people. I am so proud of her! This is a girl that is normally shy. It’s has brought tears to my eyes to see her grow and find her voice. We are both resilient and I will continue to be by her side as she tackles middle school.

Saleen and Myra

I have been very emotional lately, even cranky, and it finally dawned on me why.  It’s my two year Cancerversary. August marks two years since I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. August of 2016 changed my life forever. I have literally been fighting for my life these past two years and now I sit back and reflect on everything. Man, I am exhausted!! And the mommy guilt is real. I look at my boys and think about all the things I have missed out on, and the things I don’t remember. Chemo brain is a real thing. I just try to concentrate on the now and the time I have with my boys. I want to make every day count, and I hate when I don’t feel well, when I am tired or cranky. I don’t want my boys to remember me that way. It’s an internal struggle everyday.

Cancer has been a curse and in a weird way it’s been a blessing. It has taught me so much about myself and people. I have met some incredible people throughout this journey. I have connected with some amazing women that are fighting for their lives just like me. I am so grateful for my “Breasties”. They get it. They understand what I am feeling and they make me feel normal. But at the same time I have “survivors guilt” because I have to watch some of those same women die. I wish I had the right words to bring comfort to their families. All I can do is pray for them. It never gets easier and you can’t help but to ask why them and not me? But I know in my heart that my story is not over. God has a purpose for all of this. I have to have faith and just follow the path laid out for me…

I feel like there are a lot of politics within the Breast Cancer community. Everyone has their own opinions. Some women choose to have faith, others choose to be angry. Some women go flat, others choose reconstruction. Either way, its a personal choice. Some hate the Pink Ribbon and some embrace it. Some like the word “survivor” and others shy away. It is not my place to tell them how to feel or that they are wrong or right. I am still torn about my stance on all of it. But I do know that PINK doesn’t save lives. We NEED more research. All I can do is educate people so that they can make their own decisions. I am participating in a few fashion shows for Breast Cancer Survivors and I am using the opportunity to educate people about Metastatic Breast Cancer. People don’t know that MBC is incurable and that women die everyday because the cancer has spread to other parts of their body. All that said, no one can tell me that the way I have handled all of this is wrong.  I choose to have Faith and that keeps me going. It has been my choice from the beginning.

Just like I have been trying to teach Saleen. I have also been trying to set an example for my boys, showing them that bad things happen in life, but you always have a choice. We can’t control what happens, but we can control how we react. Leo is too small to understand, but Sebastian is growing and understanding more and more. I finally said the “C” word to him. He asked me what the “Pink Ribbon” was for and I didn’t want to keep lying to him. But I am very careful of what I say or how I explain it. I don’t want to traumatize him. I want him to see me living my life to the fullest. He doesn’t need to know that I live in fear of not being able to see him grow up.

Next month I will be turning 40 years-old and I am determined to embrace it. Growing old is a privilege and I am going to celebrate life. I plan on being surrounded by the people who have loved and supported me throughout this journey. That’s the thing with being faced with your own mortality, your views change. Material things are no longer important. Love and family are the most valuable assests you have. You can pick who you want around you. You don’t need toxic people in your life. You are more honest. I wont apologize for speaking my truth. I try to focus on giving people my full attention and helping those that are in need. I try to help other women battling cancer and I try to help strangers. I still give of myself fully. I try to put my phone down and to play with my kids more. I am making memories. I get to make my own rules. Cancer can’t steal my joy!!



The trip of a lifetime….

Richard and I were finally able to go on our European Cruise. We spent 14 days in Europe and 11 days on the Celebrity Reflection. Orginally, we were supposed to take the cruise in September, but Hurricane Irma made sure that didn’t happen. We were dissappointed, but we dealt with it. I feel like it was a test to always have faith that everything happens for a reason. When we were first planning our cruise it was meant to be a “last hurrah”. A way for me to check something off my bucketlist and spend some quality time with the hubby. We didn’t find out the great news about being NED (No Evidence of Disease) until January. That’s when the cruise turned into a “celebrate life” vacation. Richard and I were able to enjoy our trip with such joy. Yes, at the end of the day I am still a cancer patient. I still experience side effects from chemo, radiation and all the meds. The imporatnt thing to remember is that I am a survivor and I am thriving.
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Richard and I were one of the youngest couples on the cruise. Celebrity is known for catering to the “more mature crowd”. But we still had a blast. I know some of those older people were looking at me with envy. Obviously, not knowing my story. They just saw a young couple having fun. They would look at us envious of our youth. But honestly, I was looking at them with such envy. They have lived long lives. Whether they were good or bad, I am not sure… the point is they have lived. They have experienced watching their children grow up, graduate college, get married, and they have become grandparents. I don’t know what my future holds and I don’t know if I will live long enough to experience all those milestones. All I know is that I am living for today. I don’t worry about yesterday or tomorrow. I try to live and make memories for today. That is what Richard and I did on this cruise. We made some great memories. Rome was amazing. We saw everything there is to see. The food in Spain was excellent. I indulged in a lot of paella, sangria and tapas. I saw Monkeys in Gibraltor. We rode a scooter in Ibiza, and I visited the Vatican. I lite a candle in every church in Rome and made sure to Thank God for all my blessings. I prayed for my boys and I gave thanks for my life. I am excited to create a photo album with all of our pictures.
Colosseum Rome

We missed our boys like crazy. It was my first time not being with them on Mother’s Day. However, it was so important for Richard and I to have that time for ourselves. It was beautiful to reconnect with the love of my life. We didn’t have to worry about being parents and could focus on us. I also ate like a beast. I didn’t worry about my diet. I drank wine and ate some amazing desserts. I was trying to gain weight for my upcoming surgery. I will be having fat grafting next week. It’s basically lypo. They will take the fat from my belly and use it to reconstruct my breast. I have NEVER wanted lypo and I don’t know how or why people would do all of this to their body on purpose. I am not looking forward to the recovery, but I am looking forward to feeling more comfortable in my own skin. I was proud of myself for wearing a bikini on the cruise. I was able to find the perfet bikini. One that covered my chest and scars. I just don’t want to wear my “chicken cutlets” anymore. They are not the most comfort things to wear.

So after an amazing two weeks we came back to find our house a mess. We have been fighting with the insurance company since September, because Hurricane Irma also caused some leaks in our roof. While we were gone there was nonstop rain and we have 5 leaks in our roof. Our front door is a mess, the boy’s bathroom, our office and our garage. We had 15 industrial fans in our house this week drying up the mess. They were so loud and our house was in shambles. This week has not been fun. They have to come back next week to cut holes in the dry wall since we have mold already. I guess that always happens. You come back from vacation to some drama. But I still have to keep my head up. Even with such a crazy week. I was still blessed with some great news. I had a PET scan this week and I am happy to report that I am still NED. Yah baby!! Thank you father God for giving me another chance at life. So for those of you out there stressing over the little things, let it go. Life is too short. There are some of us struggling everyday to live. Don’t take anything for granted. Take some time to dance and laugh. Laugh at yourself, and smile like your heart is on fire. Let people see your joy and don’t be ashamed to be happy.

Disco night

101 Blessings in February

Blessing #1:
The month of February started off with an AMEN and ended with a WOW!! I am still in awe of everything that has happened this past month. The initial shock is turning into gratitude and excitement. The month started with the most amazing news EVER!!! My prayers were finally answered. My doctor called to tell me the results of my PET Scan. The results came back that I am NEAD (No Evidence of Active Disease). For someone with Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer to hear those words is unbelievable. It’s what we all strive for. Yes, there’s always the fear that the cancer could come back, but I am not thinking about that. I am enjoying the ride.

I really didn’t know how to share the good news with everyone. I decided to make a video and post it on Facebook. To my surprise it has been viewed over 7,000 times. If I would have known that so many people were going to watch it I would have not been such a hot mess crying. Hahaha But honestly, I was inspired at that moment and that is how I felt. I shared a vulnerable side of myself and I have no regrets. I want to thank everyone that celebrated the good news with me. I am not taking the news for granted. I feel like I owe it to myself and God to enjoy everyday to the fullest and to continue to share my story. That was my “deal” with God. I told him I would share my story if he granted me a miracle. God gave me my miracle and I am a woman of my word.

I have already shared at church and will share again in March. I will also share my story at an event for the American Cancer Society on March 17th. Shamrock at the Park event is from 2-9pm in Palmetto Bay. I will be speaking around 5pm. I am calling all my Green Chemo Ninjas to come out and support me. For more info click here

The best part of being NEAD was telling my oldest son that “mommy no longer has bad cells in her body”. I didn’t know what type of impact that would have on him, but Richard and I have seen a difference in Sebastian. A 6-year-old boy should not have to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders. As a mother, it has been inspiring to see how resilient my son is and to see the difference in him now that he’s not worrying about me. That in itself has been a huge blessing.


Blessing #2:
The weekend of February 23rd I attended the YSC Summit in Orlando. The Young Survival Coalition is a great organization that caters to young women diagnosed with Breast Cancer. This was their 20th summit and it was my first time attending. It was a such an amazing experience to be surrounded by a group of women who just “get it”. 500 survivors in the same room. That is powerful. Granted, our stories are different but the emotional roller-coaster that Cancer can cause is something we could all relate to. I finally got to meet a few women I have been following on social media and I also made some new friends. We all agreed that the summit itself was empowering, but connecting with other survivors was more impactful. I know there are Cancer patients out there that are angry and sad. I can sympathize, but I can’t relate. So it was wonderful to meet like-minded women that will celebrate with me when I do hear the good news. We encourage each other and that bond is irreplaceable.

I went to a few workshops for Metastatic Breast Cancer thrivers, but honestly, they did nothing for me. I am not there. My mindset is different than most and I am not dying today, so why focus on the negative. I rather focus my energy on living for today. I did attend a “Faith and Cancer” workshop and the presenter was amazing. I started crying when she talked about asking for help. I have a hard time asking for help. I rather do it all myself. Like most people I don’t set expectations of others because I don’t want to get disappointed. Doing everything myself makes me feel like I still has some control over my life. I know that is something I have to work on so that I don’t run myself down. I know people want to help because it makes them feel like they are doing something. They want to contribute to my healing. I don’t want to take anything away from my family and friends. Therefore, I am trying to embrace the help.


Blessing #3:
I was also blessed to hear that I was chosen as the 2018 Big Sister of the Year for the State of Florida. Amazing!!! I am so excited to experience this with my Little Sister Saleen. We get to tell people “Our” story. I was happy to win Big Sister of the year for Broward County, but winning for the state of Florida gives me a bigger platform. Now we are keeping our fingers crossed that we win Nationals. Winning for BBBS Of America opens up more doors to share my story. I don’t think I have grasped the importance of this title. I have been a Big Sister for 14 years, but I never thought that I would be recognized for volunteering my time. I love being a mentor, but my coworkers have had to remind me of how impactful my story is. When I was first diagnosed with Breast Cancer I never thought about closing my match. I was actually terrified to tell my Little Sister. How was I supposed to explain to this little girl who had already experienced lose in her life that I was sick. I never wanted her to see me sick and did my best to keep in touch during my treatment. We have been matched for almost 5 years and she is a part of my family. Not even cancer was going to stop me from my commitment to her. I can only hope that she has learned something from my cancer journey. I hope she has learned to be strong and to have faith. I also hope I can inspire other people to become mentors. God has given us all a talent. You really don’t know which of your talents or gifts you can share with a child until you try. Mentoring really does matter and you can be such a positive influence in the life of a child.

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I pray the blessings continue to pour over me and my family. As a survivor it’s nice to have a month full of great news, since we have had two years of bad news. It’s great to celebrate the big victories and the little ones. It can be overwhelming at times. I don’t think we are programmed to accept so many blessings all at once. But I wake up every morning with a grateful heart and I make the “choice” everyday not to sweat the small stuff. I just want people to be kind to one another. I think we have lost that. When you are confronted with your own mortality you open your mind and your heart to so many possibilities. I think about the legacy I want to leave behind and I just want my boys to be good people. Everyday is a blessing. Make today count!


Bring it on 2018!!!

A lot of people have asked me why I dyed my hair green. I thought it would be obvious from my “Green Ninja” persona, but then I have to remember that not everyone knows my story. But honestly, I have wanted green hair since I was in high school. Unfortunately, my mom never let me do it. I made a decision that 2018 was going to be the year to live my life to the fullest. 2017 was not easy and I felt so limited. I wanted to start the new year off with a bang. I also dyed my hair to celebrate what I went through last year. January 18, 2018 marks a year since my last chemotherapy. If you would have asked me a year ago if I thought I would have made it this far, I am not sure what I would have said. When you are in the middle of this Cancer battle you are just trying to take it one day at a time.


It’s been 2 1/2 weeks since my reconstructive surgery and I am feeling great. Everything is healing and I can’t wait to get back to living my life. I believe with all my heart that 2018 is going to be a better year! I dyed my hair and got the tattoo to remind myself of where I have been and to help me get back to my “new” normal. I am fighting to find myself again. I refuse to let Cancer steal my joy and to steal my identity. I am grateful that my mom was apart of this journey. She got her first tattoo and I am so proud of her. I am truly honored that she tattooed my name on her wrist. Now we can both be reminded of how strong we are. I can’t imagine what my mom has been through this past year watching her baby girl fight for her life. She has been a huge source of strength for me and has been such a huge help with the boys. She is a “Warrior”.


I know I am not the same person I was a year ago, and that’s okay. I don’t think it’s a bad thing. Life is about evolving and learning. I know that I am a lot stronger then I ever thought I could be. Looking back I am in shock of what I have been through and what my body has been through. It’s surreal.

After this last surgery I am feeling a little like Frankenstein. The thought that the skin on my chest used to be on my back is a little weird, but at least I can laugh about it. Removing the tissue expander and port have made a huge difference. I feel such a relief in my right arm. I no longer have that expander jabbing into my armpit. My plastic surgeon told me he’ll have to do some “tweaking”, but I am not sure if i will want all of that. He will have to do some fat graphing to make the breasts fuller. So they will do Lypo on my stomach in a few months and will inject that fat into my new boobies. They say it’s an easy procedure and not very invasive. I am just happy that the biggest surgery is over and I can wear a tank top without worrying.


I started my medication again. My oncologist lowered the dose and I am hoping that my immune system won’t take such a big hit. I will also have some scans in a few weeks to see what’s going on with my spine. I have been stable this whole time, but I have faith and I am praying for great news. I am praying that my Oncologist is going to tell me that I am NED (No Evidence of Disease).

Today the tables were turned and I was someone’s Chemo date. We have been texting for months and today we finally met. It was nice to connect with someone my own age. Eventhough our Cancer battle is different we still have a lot in common. It felt great to be able to be a positive distraction for someone that is having chemo. Lately, I have become a resource for other people that have been diagnosed. I am honored that people trust me enough to share their story. Maybe this is my path, and if it is, than I will accept it with open arms.

God has other plans….

On Tuesday, December 12th I was supposed to finally have my reconstructive surgery. I was excited. I was on the bed, all marked up and with an IV in my hand. I was ready to go when my nurse said we have to take a “PAUSE”. My blood-work came back and my white blood cells were low.  They were concerned about my body not being able to fight off any infection. The low WBC were expected because of the medication I am on. I had asked my Oncologist if I needed to be off the meds prior to surgery and she told me no. So I continued to take my medication. The nurse also said my PTT (which has to do with your blood clotting) was high. Not abnormally high, but for a cancer patient about to undergo a 5+ hour procedure, there were concerns. So after being on the bed ready to go they had to cancel my surgery.  My Plastic Surgeon was willing to continue with the procedure, but he was honest and said it wasn’t his call. He is not familiar with my medication and couldn’t make the call. At the end of the day it was my Oncologist who said she couldn’t take the risk. So after they blew my vein (See picture below).  They sent me home.

The word “UPSET” doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt. I was so discouraged and I felt defeated. We have been waiting for this day for months. I know I am not in control and only God has the final say, so I really tried to accept my situation. I was really looking forward to finally feeling comfortable in my own skin again. No one can imagine the emotional roller coaster that Cancer can create. I was looking forward to having a semi-normal chest, without having to worry about my fake boob popping out. LOL

Eventhough this is not the last surgery. I was hoping things would be that easy.  Since I am using my own body tissue I will need an additional surgery later. Since my body is rejecting the expanders it will most likely reject the implants. So they are using tissue from my back to rebuild the breasts. Later on I will need some fat graphing to fill in the pockets and to make the breast look more natural. At the end of the day, I will be either an “A” or “B” cup. I am okay with that. There are some great padded bras out there. I know people must wonder why I am putting my body through all of this and I can’t really explain it.  All I can say is that I am 39 years old and I shouldn’t be uncomfortable in my own skin. Cancer took my breasts, along with my hair and my health. My hair is finally growing back and I am starting to recognize the woman in the mirror. I am not the same person I was before Cancer, but I would still like to be able to look at myself naked and not feel bad about myself. My scars are my war wounds and I am not ashamed of them! They tell my story!

I just have to remind myself that everything happens for a reason. I am sure it was for the best. Why take the risk. Now I get to enjoy Christmas with my family and we move on to Plan B. I spoke to my Nurse Practitioner yesterday who agreed to lower the dosage on my medication. We are hoping that will help with my white blood cells. My Plastic Surgeon has rescheduled my surgery for Saturday, December 30th. God bless this man. He’s willing to do this on the weekend. He’s booked until March so this was the next best thing. I am taking a break from the meds to let my body heal. So I have 2 weeks to get myself ready for the surgery.

Thanks to all of you for the prayers and support. Please continue to pray. I am stable and I still have a lot of faith. I am just waiting for those magically words “NEAD” (NO Evidence of Active Disease). I have faith that 2018 will bring good things.

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