For the 2nd year in a row Intarion proud to sponsor the PinkForPam Foundation Annual Pink Party; to help people like Pam who are LIVING with cancer. The PinkForPam Foundation’s mission is to help women feel as normal, comfortable, and confident as possible in their everyday lives, while never giving up on finding a cure. The foundation provides hair stylists, weave specialists and makeup artists–a total array of people–to “help women with cancer keep themselves feeling as normal as possible.” –Pam Cromwell
Six months before my 30th birthday, I found a lump. Other females in my family have had lumps and, thankfully, they turned out to be just cysts. I, however, had a lump that turned out to be cancer. I am a 34-year-old African American woman who is living, working, and going about my daily life with Stage 4 Breast Cancer.
Many have asked if it runs in my family. It doesn‘t. Were there any signs? Nope. There was no rhyme or reason for it. It just happened. I could have kept asking why this happened to me, but there comes a time when you just need to relinquish control and realize that having a tug of war with God only gets you tired. “Why” is not a question to be answered. Perhaps “how” is the better question to ask. How am I going to get through this?
First of all, to get through any illness, it is extremely important to remain informed. My doctors were great sources of information, but I knew I could not feel pushed around by them. I had to be aware of my body–I alone know how it should feel and when something is not right.
Secondly, stay positive. Although I didn’t choose to have cancer, I did have a choice about how I would react to it. I think one of the biggest struggles in coming this far has been keeping my chin up in the face of a serious illness.
To remain positive, it helps to feel normal. It has been said that “sometimes you have to fake it to make it”. And so I did. I faked it and prayed, and then prayed and faked it some more. I wanted to look my best and project my best even if I didn’t feel my best. On the one hand, I struggle not be defined by my cancer. I still want to be known as, well, me. I still want to work hard, enjoy my friends, be there for my parents as they age, and spoil my goddaughter. I don’t want to be treated as the “sick one;” I just want people to remember that I have been sick because I don’t want my illness to have been in vain.
I truly believe that God can use something negative for His honor and glory. I kept on thinking that there must be others who are sick that want to continue to work while dealing with their illness, who want to look as strong as they hope others think they are.
So, my ultimate goal is to take what I have learned through this ordeal and create a foundation that is comprised of hair stylists, weave specialists and makeup artists–a total array of people to help other women like me keep themselves feeling as normal as possible. Sometimes it is simply about focusing on something else to keep you in fighting mode.
So yes, I am a 34-year-old African American woman who, while fighting cancer, is fighting to remain as normal as possible.
Intarion is proud to support the efforts of the PinkForPam Foundation. This year the Annual Pink Party is October 20, 2011. For more information or to buy tickets go to www.pinkforpam.com.