Survivor Stories 2015: 
Joy Brown


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

I felt a shooting pain in my right breast that made me feel it, found a lump, called my doctor who sent me immediately to have a mammogram. Next day I got a call to tell me.

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

Immediately on the phone I begged the doctor to not tell me that, I cried and I gave the phone to my husband. I did a lot of crying at first.

3. What course of treatment were you prescribed?

I ‘got’ to do it all. First surgery- a bilateral mastectomy. Followed by Chemo, 7 and 1/2 weeks of radiation and 5 years of Tamoxifen.

4. What most surprised you about your treatment?

How I could ‘easily’ do whatever they told me I had to. That I could let it not interfere too much with my life.

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

Don’t let it scare you! Be informed. And what I have told everyone….Three words, plus one…  FAITH, HOPE, LOVE…and HUMOR! It gets you through!

6. How long have you been cancer free?

13 years!!

7. What lessons did you learn from the experience?

SO much.  But truly, most of all…life is too short. You have to enjoy it, do things you never thought you would do….tell those you love that you do! Never take anything for granted. You must find joy in every day! It really isn’t so hard!

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

Just one? See answer to #7! Cancer is a scary diagnosis, but it can change your life for the better if you let it! Let it! Live your life, find your joy!


Joy Brown is a Midwest-born, Midwest-living mom of 4,writer, Author of My Face to the World, blogger at livinglifejoyfully, wife of a biker. Loves travel, nature, art, family.