Aisha P. is a mom of 4, wife, and online influencer. On her Instagram page, @aisha_patterson, Aisha shares her life and experience with cancer alongside heartfelt Reels and more.
What is your cancer diagnosis and how was it discovered?
I was diagnosed with Stage 2, triple positive breast cancer. I randomly found a lump in my breast but because I was breastfeeding, I thought it was simply a clogged milk duct. I didn't think much of it but after a few months, two more lumps showed up so I knew that I needed to go to the doctor.
What is the biggest piece of advice that you have for newly diagnosed patients?
My biggest advice for newly diagnosed patients is to take it moment by moment and focus on what you can control which won't seem like much. I found a lot of comfort in staying in the present moment as much as possible. For example, I couldn't control the results of my scans but in those hard moments of waiting, I could focus on the sweet smell of my baby's hair and that carried me to the next moment.
What is the most important thing you learned from your cancer experience?
The most important thing I've learned from my cancer experience is that there are ways to take power over cancer. We do not have to succumb to the diagnosis. Instead we can find ways to empower ourselves and be strong against it. I took power over cancer by taking supplements, eating a diet that I believe fought the cancer, I talked crap to cancer whenever possible and used affirmations to help me fight negative thoughts around cancer.
What was the most difficult aspect of organizing your care and community?
The most difficult part of organizing my care and community was that everyone wanted to help but I was too overwhelmed with pain to let people know what I needed. I eventually created "Aisha's Code of Cancer" that provided my friends and family a list of my needs, information on my care and boundaries. In the code of cancer, I identified people in my circle that were responsible for certain things like the meal train etc. It truly helped a ton.
What are three words you would use to describe your cancer experience?
HARD AS HELL but also A SECOND CHANCE.
Are there any product, services, experiences or physicians that you couldn't live without?
I could not have walked this road without the breast cancer community on Instagram. They are my breast friends. They encouraged me, supported me and shined a light in a dark place. I am so grateful for our community.
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