Sharon Anderson is a wife and mother of two daughters. She was first diagnosed with stage IV, inflammatory breast cancer in May 2013. At the time, she had no idea that there could be a cancer with no signs, no symptoms and that could not be detected by a mammogram. She says “it was very hard for me to understand without feeling a lump or bump like the average breast cancer patient. It was hard to understand how I could be stage IV with mets so quickly.”
The cancer had metastasized from Sharon’s breast to her lymph nodes. She was treated with chemotherapy, radiation therapy and a mastectomy to remove her left breast. She then started targeted therapy, which will continue for the rest of her life.
Several months after starting treatment Sharon had no evidence of disease, but then, in December 2015, she learned the cancer was in her spine. She had more chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and continued with targeted therapy. She once again has no evidence of disease.
“Being a ‘forever survivor’ is hard to explain,” says Sharon. “You may look find but there is a war going on inside of your body. I survive by faith, I survive by strength, I survive because that’s what we do. Keep smelling those roses along the way.”