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It has now been 278 days since my diagnosis.  Since that time, I have had countless doctor appointments, 6 rounds of what I like to call harsh chemo AKA a living hell (technical name: Taxotere), double mastectomy and reconstruction, continuous rounds of Trastuzumab and Pertuzumab, etc; I feel like I have experienced World War III inside of my body, at war to live. There is no pretty way to express what it has been like.  I have many down days of feeling overwhelmed with all of the changes that have occurred, and at times it's hard to motivate myself to do much outside of the norm.  However, I am thankful that I have been able to allow those moments to come and go.  I find that it's important that I remain honest with every emotion that I feel in order to maintain control mentally.  To simply expect yourself to not "feel" after such a traumatic experience is in itself crazy.  I feel most hopeful and gain the most strength when I am able to attach what I am going through with something outside of myself.  Connecting with other women who are experiencing the same thing, has been the most comforting and healing to me.  To look someone in the eye who has also had chemotherapy running through their veins and to simply say "I understand" is something that is so calming to my spirit .  I am no expert but I know that being free to express myself and to offer encouragement and understanding to others is what I seek out to do.  I know what it has done for me to get that from so many women and I have chosen to pay it forward.  I don't know for certain what the future holds, but I know that what I seek to do with my beautiful life, is to love to the highest of my abilities, and use my voice both singing and speaking, to let others know that I am here and I understand.  

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Instagram: @ColaSings
Facebook: Colandra McDowell


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