Dear readers–you may remember that I will not be spotlighting BCA products this month, but what I did want to do is give you inspirational stories of women who were diagnosed and survived breast cancer. So for the next two weeks that’s what you’ll see. I also encourage you to make direct donations to a cancer charity as you know that your money will be going to help women like the ones who’ll be featured here on A Girl’s Gotta Spa!
Name: Leslie Haywood
Mother of 2 daughters; Founder & President of Grill Charms
Hi there! My name is Leslie Haywood and I’m a survivor. My view on breast cancer is probably a bit different from most. I was 34 years old and my daughters were 1 and 3 when I got the call. I had had mammograms before but this time the doctor found something different. Once we knew for sure that the something was indeed cancer, my doctors and I decided the best treatment option was a bilateral mastectomy and natural breast reconstruction. I could not have been happier, for you see, my first introduction to breast cancer was at the tender age of 16, when my then thirty something year old mother received her diagnosis. She was stage IV and they gave her 6 months to live. By the time it was my turn the doctors were fairly certainly that because of my diligence and careful watchfulness all I would need is a brand new set of boobs and I was OVERJOYED! You mean I get to LIVE? I thought to myself. YIPEEEEE!!!! How in the world could I complain about THAT?!
You will be happy to know that my mother did beat the odds and is now 21 years cancer free! Thankfully she didn’t listen to what her first doctor told her and found one of the most aggressive oncologists in the area that bombarded her with extremely high levels of chemo until the stage IV cancer was eradicated. SHE is the real inspiration. When I was going through my own situation, people used to come to me and wonder how in the world I could be so happy and some even thought I was in some sort of denial. I would say But you don’t understand I’m going to LIVE!!!â€ How in the world could I spend 1 moment feeling sorry for myself, when so many women don’t. My mother was staring down the barrel of a death sentence (which in 1989, Stage IV basically was) and here I am, all I have to do is have a few surgeries? So when people call me an inspiration or say that my outlook is inspirational, I just have to shake my head. When you have a mom that had three daughters at home and fought with every ounce of energy she had to be around to see them all grow up, get married, and have children of your own, you’d be overjoyed with your diagnosis as well.
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Shannon began A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog in 2005 to morph her love of beauty and in educating women on what truly works and what does not. In 2013 she launched a bath and body line as an extention of the beauty blog. One thing she always has on her at all times? Lip balm.