I'm a Mother, a Friend, a Christian, and a Survivor...
My name is Sandy Turk and I'm a breast cancer survivor. Diagnosed in May, 2009, I underwent a double bilateral mastectomy on July 1, 2009.
As the 41 yr old single mother of a 14 yr old teenage daughter, "CANCER" is not the diagnoses one expects to hear (not that anyone "plans" on having cancer) but, frankly, I just simply did not have time to deal with it!
Well... it certainly had time to deal with me!
Fighting battles is one area in life that I'm not only experienced at, but I'm good at as well... I have always been a survivor, having been diagnosed with Crohn's Disease in 1989, and I FIGHT LIKE A GIRL... TO WIN!
I underwent the double mastectomy and began reconstruction immediately... my "team" of surgeons at Erlanger Hospital is simply the best! It is amazing what a talented, experienced “Reconstruction Surgeon” can do! “Real” may be “better” (except mine tried to kill me) but the “fake girls” are SPECTACULAR! (An aside: Cancer took my breast, not my sense of humor!”)
Thanks to the careful and consistent monitoring of Dr. Wachsmuth, I was diagnosed early and I am now Cancer Free!
The emotional battle has been equally significant (if not greater) than the physical, but, my "team" of friends and my faith in GOD have provided the inspiration and motivation needed to make it through each day, each phase, each doctor visit and each procedure. It is truly amazing what a word, a smile, a tear can do for the soul... even without words, ones heart understands when another is lifting it up!
Cancer changed me physically, emotionally, spiritually... I will never be the same woman that I was before - I'm better! Life is a precious gift to be treasured and nurtured... tomorrow isn't a guarantee, it is a privilege! A good (very wise) friend told me once that I needed to do two things, in addition to not giving in and/or not giving up: The first is not to focus on the mountain, but to focus on "the one" that can MOVE the mountain; the second is that courage is not being "fearless" but it is having the "fear" and moving forward anyway!
Each day, I remember those words... many days through tears... some "not so much"... but always, always, always with an "attitude of gratitude" that I am alive and that I have been afforded another day to live and the powerful choice to not give in and not give up!
I'm not afraid to stand alone; I'm not afraid to fight; I'm not afraid to lose... I am afraid to quit!
I have too much life left to live... a beautiful, talented daughter to watch, in awe, achieve more than I can imagine possible... a heart full of love to share...
"Laughter and Passion" are my strengths…they are my SUPER-POWERS!
Life is short... I plan to live, love, laugh – each and every day - with an unconditional passion and without regret!
GOD is with me, always, in the midst of my struggles & my battles! I cannot be defeated… in the end, I WIN!
Isaiah 43:2 “…when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned…”
Breast cancer picked the wrong woman... I'm a survivor!