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I remember it like it was yesterday...

Updated: Dec 3, 2020

I chose to make it a happy time even when I felt bad...that’s what helped me overcome the battle of cancer and I will be the first to say...I WON THE BATTLE!! I AM A SURVIVOR!!

Hello, my name is Robin Parker and this is my breast cancer story...

I was diagnosed with breast cancer 15 years ago...It all started with the Depo-provera shot, a birth control shot/injection. I received the shot at the end of March or beginning of April, I had a mammogram scheduled for the middle of June but I didn’t really want to go because it was so routine, the same old song and dance, you go get “freshly squeezed”, they ask you to wait while radiologist takes a look at the mammogram, then you get dressed then you go home. For some reason, my mom was adamant about me getting it done and told me I NEEDED to get it done. Thank the Good Lord above for her telling me I NEEDED to have this mammogram done, my mother saved my life.

If it had not been for her telling me to have it done, I hate to think of how things would have turned out. So I went and had the mammogram, they told me to wait, then they came back and told me they needed to do an ultrasound, that’s when things got scary. When the ultrasound was done they could not tell me what the results were so they made an appointment with the surgeon to have a biopsy was so cold in that room and when the nurse left to go get the doctor, I started praying and praying hard and immediately the room turned warm. When the nurse and doctor came back in the room that’s when I told the nurse that I had been praying to God and he simply heated the room up for me. In the meantime, they had asked me about the Depo-provera shot and that is when they told me the Depo-provera shot suddenly made it grow rapidly.

Well, I had to wait on the results because they had to send them off, so when I went for my appointment on June 21, 2005 to get the results, I never told my family but I had a gut feeling, I already knew the results. I cried but I wasn’t alone because I had my God, my daughter, my husband and my mom with me. The doctor and the nurses all had tears in their eyes. Then they made the appointment for the lumpectomy for July 6, 2005 and it was on my doctors day off but he came in and did the surgery anyway because he knew I was scared to death. Well, I was as ready as I could be for surgery, could not eat or drink anything that you know how hungry I was...well my sister-in-law came in with biscuits for everyone...can you believe she came in the room with great smelling, delicious biscuits for everyone but, guess who, ME. We all laughed!

Well it was time for my surgery and the nurse gave me some good drugs that made me laugh and I waved to everyone going down the hall headed to my surgery. They got the lump out and 3 lymph nodes...2 of the lymph nodes show signs of cancer so I then had to have another surgery 5 days later because the doctor was afraid the cancer was still in my lymph nodes. He then removed 8 more lymph nodes and they were all clear of cancer but he wanted to make sure he removed them just in case. They also had to put in a drain for a week, to drain the incision so on Friday I was scheduled for it to be removed. I asked him if I could go to Florida on Monday and he told me that he did not recommend it but told me that we would have to stop a stretch my legs several times along the way and back and I could NOT get the incisions wet, I told him I could do these things and he wanted to see me when I got back to check the incisions. My family was to leave for Florida on vacation because we had to reschedule our vacation because of the surgeries. While we were in Florida I wanted to get sun on my back and the back of my legs but I had a hard time with the incisions so I came up with a brainstorm idea and decided to dig a hole in the sand so I could put one of “my girls” in it...what do you know it worked but my husband and daughter were down at the water trying to figure out what I was doing, then they started laughing because they told me that they had never seen that before and I was like a mama turtle burying her eggs. Thats when we all laughed.

On August 8, 2005 was my 1st of 8 treatments of chemotherapy...the chemotherapy lasted about 4 hours each time. My daughter and my mother went with me every time...I don’t know what I would have done if it hadn’t been for these 2 strong ladies in my life. Well, 12 days after my first treatment I started loosing my hair by the handfuls so I knew it was time to visit Lynda Collier (which was a friend of mine) at the wig department of Longstreet Clinic...she told me it was time to shave my head...the doctors visits, the surgeries and even the first trip to the Oncologist could not have been worse as to sit there and have your head shaved (your crown and glory). My hair was long and I had gotten it cut some but no one can tell you what it’s like, I felt like someone had knocked the wind out of my sails ...I cried like a baby. I had already made her turn me around so I couldn’t see but the buzz of the razor was so loud. My daughter and my mom watched her and they cried too. At that particular moment is when I realized I was sick but I wasn’t going to let it beat me. Positive attitude is 50% of the battle and the best medicine. So with that said, I never got sick to my stomach from the chemo except for the 6th one, which I never got sick, I was just real nauseated. On the weeks of receiving my chemo which was on every other Monday and by Thursday, Friday and Saturday I felt bad and the week after chemo I felt better.

I remember the time we went to the rodeo at the end of September, that wig was so hot I stepped down the corridor where I thought no one was, so I pulled my wig out to get cool air under it when what do you know a Hispanic man walks into the corridor and started speaking Spanish, I don’t know who was more startled me or him for seeing a woman removing her hair to let air in...but either was so funny!!

I remember another time my daughter, my mother and I went shopping at North Point Mall, I was going to try on some clothes and had sent my daughter to get me a shirt. It was so hot in that dressing room that I took my wig off and hung it on the clothes hook when my daughter knocked on the door, when I opened the door she said “Mama, what in the world are you doing with your hair. We laughed so hard I had tears rolling down my face. Another time we were in the clothes department and I forget I had my wig on (by now it’s like second skin) when I was going to try a shirt on by putting it over my head but I forgot I was going to have to slide it back over my head, when all of the sudden the hanger took my wig off in front of two black have never heard such cackling coming from the two black women, my daughter, my mother and me. We caused everyone to look but it was so funny. These are just a few of the many funnies we had.

Then radiation happened (which was a breeze) and I was called “Bubbles” because I was always in a good mood and funny. I went through 33 treatments of radiation.

I stand of the verse Philippians 4:13 "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me" and I still stand on it today. When life throw you lemons, you make lemonade. All in all it was an experience to say the least but you can make it happy or sad and I chose to make it “happy.”. I chose to make it a happy time even when I felt bad...that’s what helped me overcome the battle of cancer and I will be the first to say...I WON THE BATTLE!! I AM A SURVIVOR!!

In the meantime, I have still raised a beautiful, smart, funny, terrific and wonderful daughter that I am extremely proud of, become a proud grandmother to my precious grandson, have a wonderful husband, mother, brother, two nephews and a son-in-law.

You can still go through what I went through and still find your passion...I have since become a Realtor and I am currently an Associate Broker with Maximum One Premier Realtors. I have been In real estate for 12 years and love it.

I have also drove a school bus. Breast cancer has not stopped me and there is nothing that I CAN’T do!!

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