In September 2020, I went in for my annual mammogram, like any responsible woman at the age of 40 would. I did not have any lumps, bumps or bruises. I was informed that I presented with scattered fibroglandular density and was in need of further imaging and an ultrasound. In that appointment, I was told I needed a biopsy. In November 13,2020, my life was changed. I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, Stage 1B. I met with the surgical oncologist, she told me I needed a lumpectomy. I opted for an oncoplastic lumpectomy.
A week after that procedure, I was notified and informed that there were more cancer cells and I’d need a mastectomy. I had a unilateral mastectomy with DIEP flap reconstruction. Once I recovered from the surgery, I began chemotherapy. I completed six rounds of chemo and 12 rounds of Herceptin infusions. I lost my hair and gained 40 pounds. All of the trauma my body was enduring was devastating.
During chemo sessions, I would color and journal to pass the time and maintain my sanity. I have since created a coloring journal for my fellow survivors. I remain in active treatment for the next four years(I’ve completed one year). I receive monthly Lupron injections and take a pill (Anastrozole)daily. I’m currently 12 pounds down, as I’m exercising 3 times a week or whenever my body feels up to it.
Survivorship is not easy, but I keep going.
Jamila is a 44 year old Atlanta native. She is a licensed therapist who has worked and lived abroad(Germany,Italy, Bahrain,Hawaii). She created a coloring journal for survivors titled ‘’Coloring My Way Through Chemo”. Jamila continues to survive and fight fabulously! Connect with Jamila: https://linktr.ee/jtclpc?fbclid=PAAaaPoBJ_sd8AcOv-HouOB3TQ9E0xLWGpWPxToZ34urA7RA7uxCGBPHKX5Ac