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My motto is,” Cancer is what I have, NOT who I am.” I have been fighting Breast Cancer and Lupus, an auto immune disease for over 11 years. The past 11 years have been filled with surgeries, over 150 rounds of Chemotherapy and Radiation. As it stands right now there is no cure, but the advances I have seen in the past 11 years are astounding and this gives me the hope and courage to fight everyday. There have been many challenges along the way and sometimes juggling everyday with Cancer can overwhelm you.

My daughter Mackenzie was just one when I was diagnosed and the most common question I get asked is how Mackenzie handles it all, my answer is always, “this is all she knows.” This stands out from all other questions because as a mom I feel guilty that my child has had to witness me enduring rounds and rounds of chemo, and radiation, hair loss, nausea, complete lethargy , and sometimes even extreme pain. As a mom you want to shelter your child and take the best care of them as possible. We all want them to grow up in glass houses with rainbows overhead and fairy dust sprinkled about. But that is not reality. If I have learned anything from having to figure out the balance between being a mom and a cancer patient is that my journey with this disease doesn't define me as a mom or a human being. Cancer is what I have not who I am. I don't bleed pink, although it would be a prettier color to see. Yes Mackenzie has had to see the reality of Cancer but she has also seen me grow as a human being and has witnessed a woman who will never give up the fight. Together as a family, my husband Dave, Mackenzie, and myself we Fabulously Fight everyday.

Fabianna Marie
Boston, MA

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