A few weeks ago I introduced part one of the ‘Ask Dr. Sheri’ series, and last week I released part two where I am sharing (and revealing the answers to) some of the most frequently asked questions regarding my life, diagnosis, story about cancer, and my story of change.
It’s my hope that I can bring some inspiration to you, guidance, or hope. If you have questions that are not listed here and are just itching to know the answer, please send me a message on my website: DrSheriMD.com.
Q: Tell us about your work as the Susan G. Komen 3-Day National Spokesperson?
A: GREAT question!! For six years I served as the Susan G. Komen 3-Day national Spokesperson. The role afforded me the opportunity to minister to and to raise awareness and educate thousands of women and men throughout the country about breast health and how they could join the fight to end breast cancer. By helping others with their struggles and showing them their value, I found mine again.
I’m now serving as the first African American Health Equity Ambassador and part of my responsibilities will be to work to identify and address the drivers of racial and ethnic disparities in breast cancer care and ensure that access to quality breast cancer care and treatment is available for everyone. I will engage with national and local health, business, civic and patient advocacy leaders and advise the Komen team on best practices for patient and clinical engagement.
Q: What word do you wish you could take out of the breast cancer vocabulary?
A: I don’t have a word, but rather a phrase. That phrase is “lost the battle.” I have made it my personal mission to admonish people everywhere I go, to NOT refer to a survivor who has transitioned from this life into the next as having “lost the battle.” The moment we wake up from surgery, complete chemo, graduate from radiation and live a life with all of the fears and uncertainties that only a fellow survivor can truly understand, we’ve already won! Instead, I tell them to say of their loved one, “S/He has fought the good fight, has finished their course and kept the faith!”
Q: If there was one thing you could change about breast cancer and how people view it, what would that be?
A: I would eliminate the health disparity that exists that is causing the incidence of breast cancer to be higher in white women, however, black women are most likely to die, with a 44% mortality rate. This causes people to view breast cancer as an immediate death sentence, yet for the millions of us living active, substantial and pain-free lives, that simply is not the case.
Stay tuned for part 4!!