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Survivor Stories 2013:
Max Devereaux

1. How did you first find out you had cancer?

I had a dream and in the dream my left breast jumped off my chest, sat in a chair across from me and began to have this conversation.

Breast: Max I need to be cut off, if you want to live. I’m sick and if I stay I’m going to kill you. It’s been nice, it’s been fun but I gotta go.

The Breast began laughing and pointing at my breast.

Breast: Boy that’s an ugly scar…was the doctor blind? Was he mad? Well it’s better than me staying, you would be dead by now.

2. How did you react when you heard the news?

I really didn’t react I had to respond. God had already told me that I had cancer but the doctors couldn’t find it. Therefore, I had to become proactive in my own health care. All of my test results were negative so, I had to convince the doctor to do a Lumpectomy. Once the Lumpectomy was completed the cancer was hiding behind the mass. I was then diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer-Stage 3C. God had already told me that I had cancer and that it needed to be cut out. So when the doctors finally got the memo I had already proactive in my own health care.

3. What course of treatment were you prescribed?

After the left mastectomy I was given chemotherapy for eight months. I was given a health regiment of fruit, vegetables, water and rest. After the right mastectomy I am still trying to get to a healthy state to ensure that I become “cancer free”. Chemotherapy took a toll on my body and I had every side effect known to man. My heart has been effected not to mention the fact that I also suffer from Lupus therefore, my course of treatment is a complex one.

4. What most surprised you about your treatment?

I was most surprised by three things: 1. The harshness of chemotherapy. 2. The negative responses of people who’ve never had cancer criticizing me for taking chemo. 3. What amazed me most about the treatment was the fact that I had eight near death experiences and God brought me through it.

5. What would your advice be to anyone who’s just received a cancer diagnosis?

First you cry, then you pray and then you live. As difficult as this is try not to embrace the illness but try to embrace the message. Surround yourself with people who love and support you. INVEST IN SELF CARE it’s all about you now. Your mental attitude will determine your physical outcome.

6. How long have you been cancer free?

We are still working on that. I’d like to consider myself as a Breast Cancer Thriver.

7. What lessons did you learn from the experience?

I have learned that I am not the sum of my body parts. Nor can my experience be defined by a pink ribbon or a race. I’ve learned that my scars have given voice to my pain. My breast my have been muted by the hand of a scalpel that freed them however, my scars speaks volumes.

8. If you could send one message to all the Good Enough Mothers out there – what would it be?

My message would simply be… Live Out Loud and On Purpose. Regardless of any and all of life trails and storms never allow your experience to silence you. We are only alive to share our stories so that it can be of service to others. Storms are never about us it’s always meant to be a rainbow in another’s life. With every experience endeavor to handle it with the grace of a woman and not with the grief of a child.

When Max Devereaux isn’t busy with doctor appointments and cancer treatments she spends her time writing. Max Devereaux is a short story author, novelist, and screenwriter and a Literary Addict.

Her Addictions are:

Screenplays
Made for TV Movies
Short Films
Musicals
Books
Stage Plays

Max Devereaux gives literary foreplay that has you yearning for more. When she’s not entertaining strangers with her writing, she’s most likely entertaining her husband Joseph, her family and friends. You can visit her at www.maxdevereaux.com