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Survivor Stories 2014: Kristen Barley



Survivor Stories 2014:
Kristen Barley


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

Through a Self-Examination and recommendation from my OB/GYN.

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

My life kept flashing through my mind, and I remember just thinking “is this all I get?” At 34, single, no kids, I couldn’t imagine what I just heard.

3. What course of treatment were you prescribed?

I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Triple Negative Breast Cancer….my treatments were chemotherapy for 6 months, surgery consisting of a double mastectomy, lymph node removal, expanders, implants, radiation, and revision surgery.

4. What most surprised you about your treatment?

My surgeon, plastic surgeon, oncologist, and radiologist worked hand-in-hand for the best/fastest course of action. I was in awe of their determination to help me fight my cancer.

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

Be an advocate for your own body and health. Ask questions. If you aren’t comfortable with what you heard, get a second opinion. Do what right is for you and your healthy well-being.

6. How long have you been cancer free?

6 beautiful years and counting…

7. What lessons did you learn from the experience?

  • Don’t let the small, negative thoughts consume your mind… keep positive healthy thoughts in your mind at all times!
  • Focus on helping one person a day, in any small way. It’s a great way not to focus on what’s happening with you or your problems.

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

To quote Alicia Keys new song “We are Here

“Let’s talk about living, had enough of dying, not what we all about
Let’s do more giving, Do more forgiving,
Our souls are brought together so that we can love each other sister!”


Kristen was 34 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008. Her diagnosis and treatment prevented her from traveling as frequently as her job required, so Kristen returned to Spindletop Charities, Inc. Spindletop guided Kristen to her true calling; helping at-risk youth in the Houston area through the generous support of the oil and gas community. Kristen continues the mission of Spindletop as its Project Coordinator, celebrating six years with the nonprofit this year.

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