Survivor Stories 2014:
Paula Smith Broadnax
1. How did you first find out you had cancer?
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in May, 1997. Over the years, I had found my body to be quite fiber cystic. One day, upon doing my self-examination, I found a lump in my left breast. I figured it was a cyst and went to my doctor for an examination. The doctor decided to aspirate it (remove the fluid). A few days following that procedure, the area began to hurt! That did not seem right to me, so I immediately call the doctor. She decided that base on my history she wanted to remove it. It was when the cyst was removed and tested that I was told it was cancerous!
2. How did you react when you heard the news?
I was in shock! My husband was with me and I remember blanking out; shaking my head in disbelief. He was holding my hand. I was crying (I believe he was too). I said a quiet prayer and then asked the doctor…”OK, so what do we do?”
3. What course of treatment were you prescribed?
I was given a lumpectomy (lymph nodes were removed to be tested). Chemo and radiation followed.
4. What most surprised you about your treatment?
When my skin burned, turned black and peeled off during radiation. And then, it came back…smooth and brown.
5. What would your advice be to anyone who’s just received a cancer diagnosis?
To try and realize that being diagnosed with breast cancer is not a death sentence (particularly if it is caught early). To know your body and watch for changes so you can find out what is going on. Take someone with you when going to appointments.
6. How long have you been cancer free?
17 years now…Praise the Lord!
7. What lessons did you learn from the experience?
Tomorrow is not promised. I am not “Mother Theresa” and it is okay to ask for help. I am strong! How beautiful I am (even if one breast is smaller than the other!) How much I am loved!
8. If you could send one message to all the Good Enough Mothers out there – what would it be?
This experience pushed me forward to live out the dream that God had given me (to own a bed and breakfast inn in the Caribbean). My message and mission is to encourage everyone I meet to identify and move forward with their dreams into their destiny with a sense of urgency….not to wait for some devastating to move you forward.
Paula Smith Broadnax is a 17-year cancer survivor; which could have left her hopeless and in despair! Not one to give up after being diagnosed, Paula decided to retire early from AT&T and fulfill her tropical dream She created InnParadise, a bed and breakfast on the lovely island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Later she was able to accomplish her second dream of becoming an author.
Paula published her first book which is an inspirational, uplifting and personal God story entitled . . . Dreams, Hopes and Possibilities: A Breast Cancer Survivor’s Story of a Dream Come True [Kindle version “FREE” on October 18 and 19, 2014 only] in August, 2013. Compelling and powerful, the book details Paula’s journey from what she calls her God given dream to reality after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Paula encourages the reader to make their dreams a reality no matter the circumstance. Her second book is scheduled to be released in October, 2014. This is a compilation of Breast Cancer Survivors’ stories entitled . . . WE SURVIVE TO THRIVE . . . life changing stories by Breast Cancer Survivors and will be half off of the regular price during October, 2014.