October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and Madison Ashley thinks that women’s health should be given utmost importance.
Breast cancer has affected so many families in different ways. Many of us have lost a loved one through this disease while some are still fighting the battle. And then we have survivors, strong and brave women who share their stories of courage and hope, just like Isabell.
Hi Madison Ashley! My name is Isabell from Miami. I know this sounds like an odd letter to be writing to you but since October is coming, I thought I’d share my breast cancer story. You see, my husband got me one of your jewelry to help me stay positive and feel better during my lowest point so I thought I’d share anyway.
My life was pretty normal until I started feeling tenderness in my breast. As a mother and a businesswoman, I was too busy to even mind it. It’ll just go away.
After a week, it wasn’t getting any better so I went online to check my symptoms. Nipple tenderness, a lump or thickening breast, sudden change of shape on one side. Could it be breast cancer? I didn’t think any of it, I didn’t want to overreact. I didn’t get my period last month so in my head, it might be part of some premenstrual or prenatal thing. To cut the long story short, I went to the doctor to confirm my pregnancy and came out with tests for my breasts.
No one is ever ready to receive news of having breast cancer and what’s worse is that I’m also having my third child. So many questions filled my mind. What’s going to happen to the baby? What’s going to happen to me? Will I be able to breast-feed as I did with my first two kids? And so on.
I cried. I cried a lot. I was physically exhausted and emotionally unwell. I questioned life and everything else. Why couldn’t the universe just let me live my ordinary life? It broke me. I was always angry and I just wanted to disappear. My husband didn’t know what to do. I went to the beach at random times, it didn’t matter if it was noon or dawn. I watched the sun go down and sometimes even stayed to stare at the night sky. I cried, I screamed, but most of the time I just thought.
Breast cancer destroys your self-esteem. I was just lucky that I had the sweetest kids and a very supportive husband. I don’t know how I could’ve survived without them.
For our 10th anniversary, 2 months before I gave birth, my husband gave me one of your angel wing heart necklace. It was one of the most meaningful things I have ever received. It was another day of me wanting to cry on the beach, he pulled out a white box and said “happy anniversary, Bel!” It wasn’t sweet but we had a lengthy conversation after I put it on. He did explain why he chose the design. He said that to him, I was like an angel that protects and guides the kids, and the blue heart is his heart, one that I can keep for the rest of my life.
I’m a sentimental girl so I knew that from then on, this necklace was going to symbolize how much I meant to him and my kids. It was a reminder of how much they love me which is why I should be strong.
We will always have the beach to make us feel better, and we will always have our family to give us life and hope. I am still fighting and I am still crying by the beach from time to time, and yes, I am still wearing the necklace that he gave me. But with this, I am always reminded that I am loved even when my husband is away at work.
I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and named her Ashley. It was my grandmother‘s name and I thought it was also nice because Madison Ashley is definitely one of the things that gave me strength even when I cried alone by the beach or in the bathtub.
I love your necklace. I’m thinking of getting some for my kids too. But right now, I just wanted to share my story with you.With love from the beach,
As mothers and wives, we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves because our family and our partners have become our top priority. Let’s not forget that we, too, matter. We all deserve access to education, screening, treatment, support, and hope, regardless of her circumstances.perhaps, with education and awareness on the symptoms of breast cancer, it can be detected and treated in the early stages.
Let us remind each other that women’s lives matter and our health is wealth. And if you are ever in a place where you’re unsure, don’t ever hesitate to reach out, get tested, and heal. After all, girls run the world, right?