My name is Sherry Williams. I live in Mt Lebanon with my amazingly supportive fiancée Antonio. I have 4 children and 2 bonus children. Their ages range from 17-37. I also have 2 large fur babies and lots of plants.I retired from being an E.M.T. in 2014 due to progression of Multiple Sclerosis.
In April of 2019 (April fools day to be exact) at my yearly mammogram, they saw a small mass. After several biopsies I was diagnosed with stage 2A ductile carcinoma and DCIS.6 tumors. I had a double mastectomy in July 2019 with immediate implants. In August they found that I had acquired a rare type of ecoli only found in operating rooms. They removed my right implant and I was given a 50/50 chance of survival. I was basically unconcious for 3 days. I went home about 9 days later after beating the infection. (Psalms 41.13)
3 weeks later I got a staph infection and lost the left implant. I would need to wait until after Chemo to try again.
I think I did 12 rounds of chemo (2 different kinds). It took 10 months to complete because I got shingles and had to stop in the middle. After Chemo I had the expanders placed for reconstruction. I did so well for months, all the way to exchange surgery, only to find out there were issues. My chest wall was too irritated and it couldn't be done at that time. If I wanted to try again I would have to wait and heal again.
This is when I really found 412Thrive. I had been a member for a while but I decided to start going to the monthly events to have someone to talk to. It was amazing. Samantha was incredible. Her story, her organization, her compassion. Once I was around her for a while I also saw her sacrifice. She was doing so much on her own for an organization that is growing weekly. I wanted to help. To be a part of this amazing family, old and new. And I also wanted that support for my next try at reconstruction. I never imagined how important it would become......
While I was doing pre-surgery testing in 2022, I had my first PET scan. They discovered that my cancer was metastatic. Stage 4. No surgery. No breasts. Reconstruction was off the table.
I was devastated. (Matt 5:4)
I did 5 radiation treatments for hip pain over the summer and I went to Thriver events. Kept busy and helped out with whatever Samantha needed. When I couldn't see anything but looming death, 412Thrive gave me a purpose! (Jeremiah 29:11)
Today I am just living my life.I balance my medication for quality of life between my M.S. and Cancer. Truthfully, for me, it's a relief to be stage 4. After my first surgery all I did was incessantly worry that it would come back. Now that I'm stage 4 I don't really think about my cancer much. I gave that worry over to God. Now I think about all the good we can do together to help others like us, new sisters, new Thrivers.
Volunteer Coordinator is the perfect fit for me. It's the front line of giving back to this amazing organization that gave me so much.
"Generous persons will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed." Proverbs 11:25