Breast Cancer Survivor

Advocate for Those Going Through What You’ve Conquered

Bobbi Bash was diagnosed with breast cancer at 59 and is now a breast cancer survivor. But more than a survivor, she is an educator who has made it her mission to use her locally well-known persona as a real estate agent to spread awareness about the disease. She has three adult children – two daughters and one son – and seven grandchildren. She also enjoys the company of her dog.

 

These days when people ask me how I’m doing, I tell them, “Better than I deserve.” I’m happy, healthy and successful. In fact, a prominent business magazine in Kansas City named me one of the top 50 people you should know in the state of Missouri.

As a cancer survivor, I encourage you to not let the strength you found during your cancer diagnosis and treatment dwindle. It is important that you continue to be aware of your body and of your health. You are your own best advocate, and being proactive will allow you to continue to thrive as you survive.

My cancer experience began when I discovered an unusual lump in my left breast during a self-exam. I was diagnosed with, battled and beat Stage IIIA infiltrating (invasive) ductal carcinoma that was both estrogen receptor- and progesterone receptor-positive. Early in the process, I decided I didn’t want to keep my disease a secret, so soon after my diagnosis, I publicly revealed I had cancer on a local talk radio station.

You see, I’ve been a real estate agent in the same area for about three decades, so I’ve developed a very visible reputation in my community. I have a time blocked every week on the radio station to chat about real estate, but for that one week, the topic was drastically different. Instead of discussing new listings and mortgage rates, I told the story of an incredibly strong woman who was on the brink of beating breast cancer. At the end of the story, I revealed that the woman was me.

After undergoing a double mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, I came out victorious. Now, I’m thankful that my cancer is behind me, and I’m also thankful my disease and treatment didn’t leave me with any long-term physical side effects.

Emotionally, a few things linger. Most of the time, it’s as if the cancer was never there, but in the back of my mind I can’t help but wonder if it’s going to come back someday. I still get a little anxious every time I have my follow-up blood tests, but I’ve passed the critical five-year mark and, so far, everything’s good. I thank God every morning for my continued survival.

I don’t consider my relationship with cancer over. I continue to make myself publicly available to discuss breast cancer with anyone who’s interested. During such conversations, I stress the critical importance of self-exams and advocate for double mastectomies because I believe those two procedures saved my life. I use my platform in society to market for breast cancer awareness and to promote mammograms and regular checkups. In addition, every October I take out a full-page breast cancer awareness ad in all the local papers. In my opinion, it’s important to continue to keep this disease at the top of people’s minds.

My daughter Suzanne began volunteering with the Susan G. Komen charity after my diagnosis, and she is now the “Race for the Cure” program manager. She dedicates her life to supporting patients and survivors, and strives towards the goal of finding a cure for cancer. Together, we have participated in “Race for the Cure” fundraiser events and the Susan G. Komen “3-Day,” a 60-mile walk to help raise awareness for breast cancer.

I was on my way home from visiting Suzanne in Florida when I generated the idea for my “Wear Pink Wigs” campaign. While at the airport, I saw a woman wearing a pink wig, and I thought to myself, “What a cool idea!” When I got home, I started doing some research and found a website that carries pink wigs for about $10 each. The next day, I went around and started getting people to buy these pink wigs. I also started promoting the mission during my weekly radio spot.

By the time October came around, I had more than 300 people in my community who had purchased and were committed to wearing pink wigs for a week. I’m still amazed at how many businesses participated. From banks and grocery stores to passionate individuals, the community really rallied around my idea. The “Wear Pink Wigs” campaign was a success and continues to grow and reach more people with each passing year.

My advice is just keep fighting — fight for yourself and fight for others going through what you’ve already conquered. If you can be of help to anyone else, be sure to reach out to them. You’ll forever be a part of a cancer community, and that community can tremendously benefit from the wisdom you’ve acquired. Find a way to give back that means something to you. The outward support you’ll receive and the inner peace you’ll find will be unparalleled.

 

Previous Next

 



Register Now! Sign Up For Our Free E-Newletter!

Read Inspiring Cancer Survivor Stories

Order Your Guides Here