I was 6 months pregnant with my second child when diagnosed with breast cancer. I was stage 2B which meant that my tumor was large and had spread to some lymph nodes. My daughter, Sophia, was still in my womb for my first 3 chemotherapy treatments.
My son, Nicholas was 13 months old at the time. I had a long family history of breast cancer, so I actually thought I might have to face it "some day". I didn't realize, however, that I could get cancer at such a young age.
Since diagnosis, I tested positive for the BRACA 2 mutation (a breast cancer gene) so my treatment became very aggressive. I had a full hysterectomy and a second mastectomy, plus reconstruction. I worry about the future for both of my children. I continue treatment with a drug that helps prevent recurrence. I deal with joint and bone pain everyday, and it makes it difficult to care for my children. I will not go off of the drug, because I need to know I'm doing EVERYTHING in my power to be there for my babies.
I am a 4 year survivor and I plan on being a cute old Yia Yia (grandma in Greek). I believe my cancer journey has made me a stronger person. My body may have had cancer, but my mind and soul only have cancer if I allow it. I will NOT allow it!
My song "You Are Not Alone" is my song of inspiration to women everywhere! It expresses what gave me strength and what I hope will empower women around the world battling women's cancers.
A portion of the proceeds will be contributed to cancer research and awareness. Cancer has touched all of our lives in one way or another by now, so my message to everyone is simple. You are not alone!
And having just lost my best friend (Nancy) to cancer (lung, brain and pelvic) I felt the need to post this song about Jenifer's journey. Jenifer is a dear friend of mine as well and it actually helps me to understand a little bit more of what Nancy's journey entailed.
I look forward to seeing this song make a splash!
Written and Performed by Jenifer Menedis; Produced by Frank Piazza; Recorded at Audio Paint - NYC