Written By: Kimberly Hawkins
Who knew that my first mammogram would be this memorable? Yep, that’s right. My first mammogram is how I found out that I have stage 2 breast cancer. On August 31, those dreadful words were told to me by Dr. Cuntz….IT’S CANCER.
I broke down and tried to gather myself while listening to my treatment plan…still trying to take in that I now have breast cancer. So much information was given to me at the time that I knew I would have to read through the breast cancer binder over the next few days so I didn’t overload my brain.
Later that evening, I prayed to God, “I don’t know the reason, but I’m thanking you in advance. I know you’re putting me through this journey for a reason that I can’t yet see. Please guide and lead me through this journey and allow me to listen to the plan my doctors have for me. And when this is all over, I will have a testimony to share.”
From that day, I started sharing with my close friends and family about my new journey. The next three weeks included more doctor visits, tests, labs and even more information about my journey. Three weeks later, I experienced my first round of chemo treatment.
However, if you really knew my story, you would know this isn’t the first time I’ve faced a life changing decision…only this time around I’m on the receiving end. You see, ten years ago, I made the decision to donate my kidney to my daddy. But that’s another story.
Sticking to a Healthy Lifestyle
As someone that works out and eats healthy, finding out that I have breast cancer was a shock to me. But I haven’t let breast cancer stop me from exercising, and it has helped me with my breast cancer side effects. My exercising includes boxing, cardio, weights and yoga, and I’ve been able to keep this workout style with some adjustments. The days I am too weak to work out, I walk outside just to breathe fresh air or sit outside for a little while.
Sharing My Journey
As I shared my new journey with close friends and family, everyone’s reaction was the same…shock. I can say that I am grateful to have the best support circle backing me. I have best friends that call and text me daily to check on me. On October 1, 2020 I shared my breast cancer journey on Facebook and Instagram. It took a few days before many realized my post was talking about myself. As I shared my journey with more people, many have reached out to me for support, gifts, calls and more.
My social media outlets have allowed me to share my breast cancer journey with others as well as to meet pink sisters who are fighting this journey along with me or who are survivors. I pray my story and posts can inspire others that are going through this journey and show them that you can still have a normal life as a breast cancer patient.
Diagnosis During Pandemic
Being diagnosed with breast cancer during the pandemic has put me in a different perspective. Being a social person, I still try to have a sense of normalcy as long as I have the energy. I’ve always lived each day to the fullest, but more so now.
I’ve always cherished time spent with family and friends, but more so now. Doing little things, such as making my bed or going to the grocery store, is taking so much of my energy. I’ve been listening to my body. When I start feeling tired, I go lay down and take a nap or just rest my body.
Many of my friends have reached out to me for brunch, lunch or dinner. But I’m more cautious of my whereabouts and surroundings. When we go out to eat, I wear my mask until it’s time to eat, I pick a restaurant that is less crowded or has outside seating (when it was warmer). When I go to the grocery store, I’ve been going early in the morning when there are less shoppers (still while wearing my mask).
I wear my mask at all times when I leave my home or car. I have hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes in my purse, car, home and work.
To Kim’s Knockout Warriors: Thank you for the outpouring of love and support that you have or are showing me. I am thankful and grateful for all your support and prayers. I am blessed to have you in my life.
Kimberly received treatment at the Breast and GYN Cancer Pavilion, a partnership between Woman’s Hospital and Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center.