Diagnosed at age 34, Davina Walters channels her breast cancer experience every day to empower others and support Komen Philadelphia.
I’m strong… I’m powerful… I’m fearless… I am Davina Diamond Pink Warrior. I wear my pink ribbon proudly because I am beating breast cancer. As a 34-year-old woman with no breast cancer history, I had no training or mental preparation for the day I was told that I had breast cancer. I was destined to become a warrior in this horrible war against breast cancer. As a mother and wife, I was always the “glue” of the family. I was the one that held everyone together in times of crisis, but now with no warning I was faced with my own crisis. I had to embark on a path that I had no idea where I was headed or what would be the outcome.
It all began when my life was interrupted by a lump that I found during my breast self exam in November 2013. I followed up with my gynecologist, who then ordered more tests. An ultrasound-guided biopsy was performed to show that there was definitely a mass in my right breast. The results confirmed that it was cancer. In fact an aggressive form of cancer, called HER2 positive. It was explained to me that a tumor that is HER2 positive, produces a protein that encourages the tumor to grow at a rapid rate, so this required me to have the immediate and aggressive treatment.
My reaction to this diagnosis was like most who have received a cancer diagnosis… a death sentence. The first thing that came to mind were my boys. Was I going to live to see them grow up to be successful men? I honestly thought that this was the end for me. I was blessed with wonderful family and friends. I’m also a firm believer in prayer and I knew I wasn’t alone in this battle.
Fighting breast cancer now became my main and only goal for the months to come.
As an Aries, I like to work on my own terms, so I was not going to allow this diagnosis to take over my life. I opted to have the 2.5 centimeter lump removed ASAP. A new year had started and my treatment and surgeries continued for my Stage 2 breast cancer. In January 2014, I started 18 rounds of chemotherapy. The side effects from chemotherapy were hitting me left to right from hospitalizations to blood transfusions to losing my hair, my sensation and my well being. But I had to continue the fight through exhaustion from chemotherapy accumulations. The month of May couldn’t come fast enough for my body. In June, I underwent another surgery to prepare me for my next treatment… Radiation. In September 2014, I completed 35 sessions of radiation which took me 7 weeks, Monday through Friday to complete.
My last breast cancer treatment was completely finished on December 31st 2014! It may have taken 13 months of treatment… but I am grateful to say I won the battle!
Even though breast cancer invaded my body it did not invade my spirit.
As a registered nurse and a woman who has lived through this diagnosis, I feel that it’s my duty to support the fight against breast cancer. Breast cancer rates among women under the age of 40 are rising… I’m a prime example. After being diagnosed I received a lot of questions about breast cancer from other young women. It was all new to me and I felt compelled to help educate others like myself. In order to do so, I formed a group called, Davina Diamond Pink Warriors. As a group, we empower one another in promoting breast health and to provide awareness in order to fight against breast cancer. Knowledge is power! If one woman can detect a lump early, that’s a life saved. This has been our mission and we are true believers that cancer does not discriminate and early detection can saves lives.
On Mother’s Day, this year will be Team Davina Diamond Pink Warriors‘ second year participating in the Susan G. Komen Philadelphia Race for the Cure. Together as a team, filled with family, friends, neighbors and coworkers, we will rally together, not only for me but for someone we may know who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, to celebrate those that have survived breast cancer and memorialize the ones who have lost the battle. One day we believe that there will be a cure. This year will be Komen Philadelphia’s 25th Celebration for Race for the Cure. Komen Philadelphia has been dedicated in being an advocate for breast health, prevention, detection, treatment and cure.
The biggest risk factor for breast cancer is simply being a woman. As women, along with our family and friends, we need to stand on the front line along with Komen Philadelphia in this fight agsinst breast cancer. Please donate today. We also welcome you to register to walk or run with our team, Davina Diamond Pink Warriors on May 10, 2015 if you do not have a team. Come out with your pink power and join the fight against breast cancer.