Warrior of Triple Positive Breast Cancer
Painting, Phoenix, Owl, Fox
Hi, my name is Janera Simmons. I was diagnosed with triple positive breast cancer when I was 39. I luckily rolled over in the middle of the night and just happened to feel a lump in my breast. I was diagnosed a month later. I went in for a lumpectomy and later received the news that they did not get at all. I had to go back in for 3 more lumpectomies until they felt they had clear margins around the tumor. I started 6 rounds of chemo and one year of Herceptin. My body did not handled chemo very well, like a lot of patients. I ended up with numerous blood transfusions, but I was very blessed to not need any hospitalizations. I also had 36 rounds of radiation followed by a hysterectomy and oophorectomy to reduce to likelihood of reoccurrence. I will also be on hormone blockers for another 8 years to reduce the chance of reoccurrence as well. I developed hypothyroidism from the radiation, but all of that "stuff" has gotten me to where I am today. ALIVE!! Cancer free! I just turned 42 and I am still struggling with my "new normal" (a term I dislike but it fits). Everyday is a struggle to get back to normal, but I have a wonderful and supportive husband who understands that my illness didnt end the last day of chemo. Cancer recovery is a process. I have 2 wonderful daughters, 14 and 11, that never once complained when I couldn't or still cant physically do something. They have l been so amazing! I couldn't ask for a better support system! I thank God for a helping us through the last few incredibly hard years and pray that things can only go uphill from here!
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Warrior of Breast Cancer
The Phoenix's tail is where the personal details are hidden; a fox's tail, Janera's spirit animal, an owl's feather for the same; a cardinal's feather because Geoffrey, Janera's husband said it's her grandmother's favorite bird, a peacock feather, a token of my friendship; creating a phoenix of protection from all of us.
Some Warrior Reveals are so personal, I am the only one who will ever see it. Janera opened her painting, one on one, with me as its only viewer. She said. 'I dont feel like a Warrior' and I thought I might cry myself to death. She teaches me one of this project's main missions; 'To convince a Warrior she's a Warrior.