We just love to spotlight women who enlighten and uplift us with their Emotional Nudity. I started to follow Shondia on Facebook after her page showed up in my timeline. I remember being so inspired that I shared her story with a few friends. I remember thinking it would a great story to share with my Nudie Patooties in our SHEer Spotlight. But then life caught up to me and I forgot. So when another story about Shondia popped up today, I knew it was a sign that it was my turn to spread a powerful experience. Please pass it on!
Shondia McFadden-Sabari is the creator of Bold and Breastless, a movement that uplifts breast cancer survivors and shares resources through outreach and advocacy. She lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, with her husband Wali and their two children, Chase and Trinity. This is her story!
I was diagnosed with breast cancer two days before Christmas 2010. As a 36-year-old married, devoted mother of two, the news was devastating and shocking to all of us. I had no lumps, no discomfort, no discharge—there was nothing to make me think I had breast cancer. One day I had the thought that I needed to get a mammogram. I now know that the “thought” I heard was the Holy Spirit. I scheduled a mammogram for the very next day. To my surprise, almost two weeks later, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in both breasts.
I had two different types of stage 0 cancer in my right breast, which were DCIS, non-invasisve malignant cells in the breast ducts, and LCIS, which are pre-cancerous cells indicative of a higher risk of breast cancer. In my left breast, the cancer was all DCIS including an area that was a more advanced stage 1A near a blood vessel. The stage 1A diagnosis meant that the disease was progressing but thankfully had not spread outside of my breast. The cancer didn’t cause me any physical pain, but it sure did scare the hell out of me! I had both of my breasts removed during a bilateral mastectomy on February 11, 2011.
Read more of Shondia’s amazing story on Essence.com. Also, I was totally blown away by these photos who were incidentally taken by one of my favorite photographers Derek Blanks who I mentioned in a previous post.