My name is Shereen Hamilton, however everyone calls me “Shebie.” I was 45 years old when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011. The cancer was Stage 1 and estrogen positive. My oncologist recommended a lumpectomy and put me on an estrogen blocker for five years. However, after careful consideration I decided to undergo a bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction using the DIEP FLAP procedure. I felt it was a better option for me, due to my fear of the cancer spreading or a recurrence at some point, and because of my family history. After the surgery, my doctor informed me the type of cancer I had was very aggressive and that he recommended chemotherapy for six months.
I was very “down and out” because of my situation and very often felt alone. Even though I have family and lots of friends, I felt they didn’t understand the severity of my condition. Yet still life goes on and while I was trying to grasp my health issues, my mother Lillie Hamilton, was fighting her own battle having been diagnosed with lung cancer the year before. This was her second diagnosis. She was a 10-year throat cancer survivor — now you understand why I decided to have my breasts removed and not just the tumor. As fate would have it, my mom and I went through chemotherapy treatments together. And yet still life goes on. During this tumultuous time in my life, my only child, my daughter Najea Poindexter, was pregnant with my granddaughter Chloe. The day she went into labor I had just had chemotherapy the day before, and I wasn’t feeling well. I didn’t think I would be able to witness her birth. But I asked God to give me the strength to go, and I was there to see her born… God is good!!!
It has taken a tremendous amount of strength to get me through this difficult time. However it was during this time that I developed a stronger relationship with God and relied heavily on my faith. Because I didn’t feel my loved ones understood my plight, I felt I could only receive a full compassionate and empathetic understanding from God… only he knows “WHY ME and WHY NOT ME?” During what should have been one of the happiest times in my life — awaiting the birth of my first grandchild — I found myself fighting for my life along with my mom who sadly passed away June 13, 2012. With all I’ve been through, I am blessed to be back at work full time, back to my daily routine and enjoying my precious grandchild. Life isn’t perfect but I’m here and alive today to tell my story, a survivor, two years and counting. I thank God every day for my health. I never would have made it without him. To God Be The Glory!!!