Chenai’s Cancer Story
There is never a good time to learn that you have cancer, but for Chenai the timing could not have been worse. She had landed her dream job only 6 weeks earlier and is the mother to Jordynn, her beautiful daughter who was just 2 years old. Her husband Jeff started a GiveForward page so her community could rally around Chenai and explained that, “When Chenai was diagnosed with Stage IIb Breast Cancer I was scared and didn’t know what to do, but felt like I needed to show her this is not the end of her life, but this is the start of the Fight. I knew she needed to know that we are in this together and no matter what happens she can count on the support of me and all our friends and family.”
Chenai, Jeff and Jordynn’s story touched us and we wanted to learn more. Chenai was nice enough to share her perspective with us and the following is an interview we recently conducted via email:
Can you tell us about what you felt when you received the diagnosis? – I felt like my whole world was crashing done. I was afraid that I was going to die and leave my only child, my daughter, without a mother. I felt that I had been cheated even though I knew that anyone could get cancer at any time – I just couldn’t believe it was happening to me now. I had just landed my dream job in January and I was diagnosed 6 weeks later. I was very
afraid of losing this job.
What have been some of the greatest hardships for you throughout this battle?- It has been hard financially. My husband lost his job in the middle of my treatment and I lost my insurance coverage. I am on disability and my income is limited. Prior to him losing his job we had met the deductible and max out of pocket expenses, we now have to meet all of that a second time and this time it is double. I have spent a lot of time worrying about my treatment and being able to pay the bills.
What is the greatest comfort or support for you during this battle? – When I was first diagnosed I found a young woman on YouTube who has gone through this at 23. She had a vlog of here whole experience. She was so positive and watching her make it through made me feel like I could make it through as well.
Do you have advice or an inspirational quote from someone that you think of when you are down? – I found this quote that I loved….In the end it will be ok and if it is not ok then it is not the end.
Is there any little story or something you would say to someone going through a similar battle that would help brighten their day? –I suggest taking time for yourself. Do things that make you happy. Plan things to give yourself something to look forward to. I planned to take a
cruise a year after I was diagnosed. Throughout my whole treatment I have been imaging myself on that boat with my husband and my friends having a great time with all of this behind me. That vision kept me going.
What is the best/nicest thing anyone has done for you to help during a hard time? – People have been amazing. One friend sent me a couple of wigs, that really boosted my confidence. Friends have sat with me during chemo. My grandparents have spent a lot time with me this year. Co-workers sent me flowers, cards, books and so much more. My family and friends are working hard to collect money to help with my medical expenses.