I wasn’t prepared for the news I received recently about my dear friend I’ve had for a few years now. We were texting and she sent the message : “You know I have breast cancer” WHAT?! I sat there, with mixed emotions,knowing that my friend has a serious battle ahead and full of questions. I didn’t ask many only because I wanted her to understand that I support her 100% in whatever course of action she’s willing to take. A very personal and overwhelming decision. Early stages so we are hopeful. I have to say that she has been a source of inspiration to me since we have met. A native of Jamaica, her personality and smile light up a room. Always compassionate and a fun-loving mom. Her “no-nonsense” demeanor has been her way of life and she has been the example of a strong, independent woman. Working in the healthcare field requires a certain type of discipline and I’ve often admired her determination. I decided to read up on breast cancer, stages, treatments etc. I want to be well informed because the truth of the matter is this: When someone has cancer, the whole family and everyone who loves them does too. http://www.breastcancer.org/community has in depth information from newsletters, support groups etc. Like the saying goes, early detection is the best protection. Having to deal with any illness requires a resolve to get to the facts and during this time, I am sure there are moments of anxiety which can lead to feelings of depression. It is important to have a support system, even if it is just one person, professional or otherwise, to be able to talk/vent with and sometimes, not even saying a word, just great company. Positive energy is an awesome key when it comes to life events. From inspirational quotes to meditation, even a spa day. Taking the time to reflect on self-care can boost esteem and gain motivation, every single day. I stand with my friend , in this fight, and I believe that she will come through this stronger and better than ever. Be sure to check in with your physician and receive your annual mammogram. Overcome through courage and strength. Blessings.