October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we wanted to shed some light on a topic that isn’t addressed enough. We spoke with Ronda, an amazingly energetic and lively Breast Cancer thriver who underwent a double mastectomy weeks after losing her sister-in-law to the same disease. She wanted to share insight and advice about her battle with breast cancer and the journey after.
How did you tell your loved ones about the diagnosis?
My husband knew because he was at the doctor’s office with me. As for my daughters, we thought it was best to see a family therapist so we could really explain what was happening, how I would feel, and what the healing process would look like. It wasn’t going to look good in the beginning but we wanted them to know it would get better every day.
How did you cope with it?
There is no “right” way to cope. I believe that having a positive mindset is key. I wasn’t going to go out this way. I read a lot of self-help books and even took up meditating. The best advice I can give someone is to do whatever it is that gives you peace of mind and surround yourself with positive people.
What did you do to constantly keep a positive mindset?
Other than reading a few self-help books and meditating, I focused on my love for fashion. No matter where I went I always tried to look my best. I thought, “I’m not gonna look like shit for anybody!” I wanted to look like I was radiating health – I wanted to feel like myself and not a sick person.
What is life like after your battle with cancer?
I volunteer at my local hospital where we visit breast cancer patients and teach them how to do their makeup, tie their scarves and help them to feel beautiful. The idea is if you look good, you’ll feel good. I’m continuing to work on my positive energy – I now practice reiki which has been a very positive thing in my life.
We all have different ways of coping. Whether it’s a new found hobby or volunteering, it is important to keep a positive mindset and surround yourself with good people. Let’s come together and find ways to thrive on.