METAVIVOR - #dontignorestageIV

It was the color of the sky the morning I was told "you have breast cancer". It was the color of a room that belonged to no one, the color of sadness, the color of wanting something that was already gone. The face I wore after that moment wasn't mine, and for the rest of my life I would have to grow into that face...

Hello, my name is Richelle and I wrote that just hours after my diagnosis taking some from a book I was currently reading, it must have been fate.  Seven years ago on May 31, 2007, I was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer and lost my right breast. Needless to say the struggle with losing a part of you that makes you a woman is very trying, both physically and emotionally. Surgery, chemo and radiation went well I was still able to work through the miserable days and months and I was "cancer free" for 2 years .

In 2011, after a routine PET scan, I received a call (YES a phone call gave me this devastating news!) from my oncologist informing me that the scan came back positive and I was now in Stage IV with the cancer metastasizing to my bones and if that wasn't enough I now had an additional separate cancer in my left breast that was Stage I. I was given a 2% chance of surviving 10 years and was told I would NEVER be cancer free again. My first thought was of my children who were 13 and 14. I was all they had! They had just started their crucial teen years and I haven't finished teaching them how to become compassionate responsible adults.  

On to more rounds of surgery, chemo & radiation which has taken a lot of life out of me physically and has left me with "chemo brain".  I am no longer able to work in my lifelong career or any full time job due to being sick over half of each month as I receive IV treatments every 3 weeks.

5 years ago I was the one volunteering in all facets of American Cancer Society and today I am the one who needs the help. I have a 2 hour round trip to my cancer center several times per month. I am at a place in my life where I am not sure if tomorrow will be there and I have accepted that but never never give up hope.  It is just surviving that is my biggest struggle right now. 

God bless you and thank you for reading my story.
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Organizer

Shelly Cornella 
Organizer
Racine, WI
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