*I promise this is a long story short*
In the past, my life felt like a never-ending battle, but today, I stand with growing confidence and determination. I faced a very public crisis that left those who knew me questioning my true self. Their support has been a lifeline, but I acknowledge my own missteps. I abruptly stopped vital medications, not realizing the importance they held. I denied the stigma around bipolar disorder, refusing proper treatment until later in life. A surprising discovery of a brain tumor shed light on my behavior, offering a strange sense of relief amidst the chaos.
Despite growing up on the Navajo reservation, my journey led me to academic success. I hold a B.S. in Biology and an M.A. in Psychology. During the ‘Crash of ’16,’ I lost everything I’d worked tirelessly for – my car, my home, my career, and my mental stability. I shattered long-standing friendships and damaged the community I’d carefully built. Transitioning from independence to self-imposed isolation was a formidable challenge, but I’m committed to continuous growth and change.
My resilience also extends to my role as a parent. I have a 12-year-old daughter who is absent from this story, and it’s by the grace of God that I ensured her safety and well-being. I took her to California to be with her dad, sparing her from witnessing my lowest moments. She’s currently in therapy, where she’s equipping herself with the tools to navigate life’s challenges, tools I wish I had at her age.
Moreover, my younger brother, who lives in Canada with his wife and their three kids aged 7-14, has moved back home, just last week. As much as I cherish having them close, moving out would provide them with the space they need and alleviate some of the daily challenges of having my nieces and nephews around.
While I was young, I should have known better, but bipolar tendencies can lead to reckless choices. I was officially diagnosed at 31.
My life has been a rollercoaster ride. Thanks to the Cancer Center in my city and the extraordinary nurses who saved my life, I’m here today to share my remarkable story.
During my cancer journey, an unexpected twist came with a PET scan revealing a brain tumor. It felt like a surreal nightmare. From August 2017 to September 2018, I underwent chemo, radiation, a double mastectomy, and an oophorectomy due to the BRCA 2 mutation. Two surgeries were needed due to complications, including a remarkable six-hour brain surgery.
Fast forward to today, September 2023, and I take daily medications as a reminder of my battles. My goal is to generate passive income to return to school full-time for nursing and eventually become a nurse practitioner in psychiatry. I’m passionate about mental health, advocating for people of all ages to break the silence.
My parents supported me financially during my cancer journey. We lived together with my siblings and their kids. Now, my dad is gone, and my mom approaches retirement. Recently an uncle’s words cut deep when he suggested I relied too heavily on my mom. I’ve held various jobs since the “Crash of ’16,” but now, I’m seizing control of my destiny.
Bipolar disorder is my reality, but it doesn’t define me. I’ve studied its symptoms, engaged with my family, and embarked on a continuous journey of self-improvement. Bipolar disorder and the workplace haven’t always mixed, resulting in job losses. However, I now embrace entrepreneurship with newfound confidence, pursuing my dreams.
I aim to establish my own place, to grow personally and professionally, and to give back. Any support, no matter how humble, is profoundly appreciated.
As a bonus, I’m cancer-free for over five years, and my brain tumor was benign. My annual MRIs bring good news, but a looming $6k credit card bill remains. Additionally, I take 10 pills daily to maintain my sanity, combat anxiety, depression, and cope with menopause due to cancer treatment.
I hope my journey has touched your heart, and I eagerly await any blessings that come my way. In my mid-30s, I’m filled with dreams and ambitions, and I sincerely thank you for considering my story.
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