Survivor Remarks from the Ocean City More Than Pink Walk

We were especially moved at the Ocean City More Than Pink Walk on Saturday April 13 when we heard the remarks from Lesley Bishop and Lisa Mitchell during the opening ceremonies. A number of you asked for us to share their remarks.

 

LESLEY:

Hello, my name is Lesley Bishop, I was 41 back in 2010 when I was diagnosed with stage two Ductal Carcinoma. I knew this was going to be a fight I couldn’t give up knowing I had a child to raise.

I had my mastectomy done right away and I was told the cancer had been growing for about five years before it was found. I knew something had been wrong for a long time, but the doctors didn’t seem concerned. You have to push them when you know your own body. Don’t stop till they listen.

I went through 5 months of chemo followed by a hysterectomy, due to the Estrogen was feeding the cancer. After almost a year I was finally able to get my reconstruction done.

I believe the only good thing that came from all this, was meeting my pink sister Lisa.  The part I would never change is that she has been my rock and the one who knew what I was feeling.

The people from Susan G. Komen were there for me, giving me plenty of information that I needed along the way, which meant so much to me.

Lisa and I decided to get involved with Komen together and along with others for the first three years of this event we helped out in the survivor tent and met a lot of other pink sisters along the way.

We will have to stand tall and continue the fight together until no one else is affected by this anymore.

 

LISA:

My name is Lisa Mitchell and I am the face of metastatic breast cancer. I am a fighter of breast cancer two times. I am a survivor!

April Fool’s Day in 2010 brought the news of stage 3 breast cancer. This was definitely NOT a joke. Over the following year post mastectomy, I endured intense chemotherapy and radiation and reconstruction. My doctor gave me a 40% chance of survival at a 5-year mark. A second opinion from John Hopkins, said I had 1-2 years left. Well, I made my goal to eventually stop thinking that my life was ending soon to believing that I have so much more life to live for.

Things were optimistic in my mind and then, cancer returned 2 years later, and I had to endure everything all over again. Unfortunately, my body wasn’t dealing with chemo very well and I eventually had to stop. Along with Crohn’s disease, my breast cancer journey has had challenges along the way. My most recent surgery in early March was for implant and tissue removal.  Metastatic breast cancer is my life.

My story connected me to my pink sister, Lesley. Our cancers arrived months apart and we connected in the community at a breast cancer event.  We had never met before this and now we are best buddies. We have been an active part of Komen, especially the first few years of the race working in the survivor tent. It gave us inner strength helping others.

Susan G. Komen Maryland is also my pink sister who has walked along with me in my journey and has given me hope and support whenever I needed it. I have an overflowing heart of gratefulness to Lesley, Komen, my family and support system, and my fellow warriors who have endured or who is currently going through treatment.

 

We must look to our futures with optimism that one day there will be a cure. But until then, we walk as a village, holding each other’s hands in strength and unity.