“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” ~ John Quincy Adams
Netis is one of our beautiful young parents living with cancer. She came to Singleton Moms when were just getting our feet off the ground and has been an important part of Singleton Moms ever since. Her courage and strength has been a continuing inspiration for the work we do. Here is her story:

I was 29 and it was 2006. I had three beautiful boys and was a single mom. I was working hard and feeling good. I went to an annual woman’s check up and asked the doctor to check on a lump I had felt that seemed to be getting bigger. I explained that my aunt had died from Breast Cancer. He told me not to worry because “It was my dad’s side and not my mom’s side of the family.” Two months had passed and I got really sick. I just could not kick it. I finally went to the doctor and they ran blood tests. They thought maybe I had Lupus. The tests came back negative for Lupus so they wanted to run more tests. At this point I told the doctor while you are doing these tests can you also look into this lump on my breast? She agreed and sent me to have it biopsied. It came back cancerous. The doctor later admitted that as soon as she felt the lump she knew it was cancer.

“When you are young and healthy, it never occurs to you that in a single second your whole life could change.” ~ Annette Funicello
I was devastated. I was just 29 years old and had three boys to take care of. I felt as though someone had just sentenced me to death. Cancer is such a scary word and nothing ever good comes from it, right? I later called the doctor who gave me my first exam and told him I had cancer. He said, “You can’t have Breast Cancer you are too young.” I was angry, I knew how old I was and apparently I wasn’t too young because I had CANCER. I decided to have a double mastectomy followed by 6 or 7 reconstruction surgeries and a year of chemo. It was extremely difficult but I had good family support my mother and sister were there for me. I had to fight, I had no choice, and my boys needed me. I was in remission for 3 years things were getting back to “normal” the dark cancer cloud was no longer hanging over my head. My hair had grown back to its normal length and I was working full time.

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” ~ Albert Einstein
It was in January of 2011; I went to the ER with severe chest pains. The doctors thought it was my heart since chemo treatments have been linked to cause heart problems. I wasn’t too young for cancer… maybe I wasn’t too young for a heart attack? They continued to run scans and tests. The doctors told me my not only was my cancer was back but it was bad. It had metastasized to my bones, sternum and spine. Devastation, anger, sadness were just a few of the words to describe how I felt. Could I get through this? My kids, my family, my mother, and sister; can they go through this again?

“Only in the darkness can you see the stars.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
Well it has been two years and I am still here, we all are. Every day is fight for me but one worth fighting. I believe in Mind of Matter and have a strong faith in God.

I know it may all sound bad but my cancer has not been all bad. Because of cancer I have a new outlook on life; I appreciate people, family, time, and every day things a lot more. I live life every day to the fullest. Cancer had brought some amazing people into my life. Every day is a blessing and I will continue to fight with all I have for my sons and the people who have supported me.

Live, Love, Laugh ~ Netis