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Meet beautiful Amber! This lady had such a wonderful personality!! She brought her mom along and they were both such a delight to have around! They actually stayed about 2 hrs after the event and we all just hung out and chatted! Amber opened up and shared with us her story, her struggles, and about her amazing family the support system God has blessed her with! She is a beautiful person, inside and out! Please scroll down to read her story!
Amber Childers : Courage is my strength and I believe living is something very special to be thankful for
I live and grew up in Mesa, Arizona. In my short life of 33 years I have a 16 year old son and had breast cancer twice. Although my Grandfather passed away of cancer a few years back, I’ve never known anyone to have breast cancer and thought it only happened to older woman. I led a normal busy life of work, a mother, a daughter, a sister and took pretty good care of myself. Never in a million years would I think I would be telling you this story.
The First Year
It was the summer of 2010 taking a cold shower I felt a lump in my right breast. Not a large lump but large enough to make me pay attention. Days & months past it continued to grow as did my worries. Not having health benefits or knowing there’s organizations that educate and help fund mammograms I waited. Finally in June of 2011 I was approved for health insurance through my employer. The very next day appointments were made and physical exam scheduled. During my physical exam the doctor immediately scheduled right breast coral biopsy and then advised my specialist would be in contact with me. Three long days later the breast specialist called me while I was at work and momembaled “you have breast cancer” and he needed to see me later that day. I was blind sided, devastated, and hoping this was a mistake. It all happened so fast, next I remember laying in a PET scanner having no idea what its for, just going through the motions and doing as doctors said. Its like the world exploded and I was in space being pulled, pushed in every way with no time for clarity.
Through the blur of the following months chemo started July 22, 2011. At stage 3 my team of doctors set me up with chemo every 3 weeks first to shrink the tumors than surgery. My hair thinned out after the first treatment so I had one of my good friends a hair stylist shave it off. I didn’t want to cry over hair falling out daily when I could go shopping for hats, wigs, and scarvs. Always looking to find the positive. My last chemo treatment was November 4, 2011 and I celebrated gaining life back, at least my reality and being okay it. Not showing the buckets of tears shed but the courage and strength to continue on. About a month later on Dec 18, 2011 had my double mastectomy followed with weekly radiation ending March 3, 2012. Woo I was cancer free and seeing the light at the end of this dark tunnel I continued to work. Months passed and reconstructive surgery begun.
Headed in the path of remission hair flowing and growing, skin bright and shining and andromison the meds in the past. Things continued to get better not only for me but for my son as well. Chemo, radiation or cancer wasn’t going to stop me from cheering him on in school sports but now I was able to play basketball, racquetball, catch and ride a bike with him. I could go shopping, be in public, have real conversations that didn’t include doctors, meds, or cancer. Take a long drive see earth, listen to music blaring and best of all feel the wind in my hair.
June 13, 2013 my worst nightmare returned. I had a surgical biopsy and re diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. Not till October of the same year did treatment begin. My Oncologist said I will be on chemo for the rest of my life but I pray that it will end soon. This time it took a tole on my family especially my son “Michael”. He was starting football his sophomore year and his coaches wanted him to play on the varsity team. He didn’t want to hear the bad news from me so he found out on Facebook. The minute I seen he “liked” my comment I felt he was ready and we were able to have the conversation. A week passed and he told me he quit football, said he just was not into it and all he can think about is losing his mommy. I didn’t like his decision and wanted to ensure he knew what he was doing; giving up his first year of High School football. He reassured me he wanted to be there for me and make sure I get through this tough battle. It broke my heart, all I can do is cry. I didn’t expect anything like that from him. He’s still a kid and wished he could’ve enjoyed his childhood. It has brought me and my son closer than ever. Experiencingthe stages of breast cancer and everything that comes along with it.. being sick, having no appetite, losing my hair, and losing my breasts. Then being put back together with wigs, fake ones to feel like a lady, the out pour of encouragement, love and support from family, friends, and organizations. We both learned a lot together. Michael is so happy he sees me getting better day by day, and just seeing him makes me stronger and wants to fight more. My PET scans keep getting better, so far I have my hair and going to the center 3 times a month is helping. I will not give up!
With the removal of 17 lymph nodes on my right side I developed lymphedema and my right arm is hard to move so I have to see a therapist to help the fluids flow to the right spot so my arm doesn’t swell up any more. It is so painful that it’s hard to sleep or even go out to have a good time. Another challenge, but with the grace of God I power through the pain and get through the day the best I can.
Courage is my strength and I believe living is something very special to be thankful for. As a younger woman being diagnosed with Breast Cancer has been overwhelming but over all able to impact others in a positive way. Struggling with any type of cancer is shattering and with all I’ve been through I find ways to be a good supportive friend, able make others feel good inside as well the outside, and have a happy heart when I see them smile. I have strong faith and love for God he has truly been really good to me and has helped me get out of my tough times. “Romans 10:13”
I want to thank my dad Kelly, mom Maria, brother Jason, sister Jasie, and son Michael for all their help and support without them I would be lost in the wild. Also my awesome Brother for buying a bigger house so we can be together. Will never forget Singleton Moms for being a part of my family and my sister girls for their support and friendship I can not ask for anything more, you all are there when we need a shoulder to relief stress, or just cry. You all make me smile when it hurts, thank you for being you.