I Will Survive
What better way to kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month than by introducing you to our October Survivor Tangelina Booker.
Tangelina's journey began in 2015 after a routine mammogram that showed concern with cell alignment within her ducts. This led to a biopsy and ultrasound which ultimately led to her breast cancer diagnosis. With no signs or symptoms before, Tangelina remains grateful she got her annual mammogram.
"To this day I continue to thank God for there was no lump present and if I had chosen not to go for my mammogram the cancer could have become invasive."
As she geared up to battle breast cancer, Tangelina was already battling something daily, the murder of her youngest son which happened just three months before her diagnosis.
"The challenge of being strong for my family with grieving and also shifting the focus on my health was not an easy one but I found strength in family, close friends and coworkers during my treatments which consisted of a mastectomy and DIEP Flap breast reconstruction."
DIEP stands for deep inferior epigastric perforators.
According to breastcancer.org, with a DIEP flap procedure, skin, fat, and blood vessels are cut from the wall of the lower abdomen and moved up to your chest area to restructure your breast. Using microsurgery, the surgeon reattaches the blood vessels of the flap to blood vessels in your chest and because no muscle is used, most women recover faster and with a lower risk of losing abdominal muscle strength versus TRAM flap procedures which use muscle from your lower abdomen. TRAM stands for transverse rectus abdominis.
Once recovered, Tangelina fueled her energy into moving forward - literally.
"In 2016 I began running as a way to focus my energy and health in a positive direction," she said. "I joined 'BGR' Black Girls Run. Winning my first medal in a 5K began my journey to a healthier lifestyle while inspiring and supporting other women with their personal and tragic journeys."
After taking home multiple medals in 5K and 10K runs, Tangelina has her sights set on the next challenge.
"My goal is to continue to keep my eyes on the target to run a half marathon and possibly a marathon soon," she said. "My motto is, 'Life if short, why not?'"
Tangelina not only survived breast cancer but continues to survive the loss of her youngest child, with strength and grace, keeping her mind focused and feet moving forward. We are honored to have her in our EOTS family and celebrate all of her accomplishments mentally, physically, and emotionally.
And as she reminded us, it is important to keep up with annual mammograms as early detection is another tool we have in taking down breast cancer.
In honor of breast cancer awareness month, and for more overall information on the basics of this disease, we encourage you to check out some of our previous posts including this one which provides a list of other related helpful posts.
Until next time, keep up with us on Instagram and always keep your Eye on Strength!