Survivor Feature Profiles by Melissa Karrer, Photography by Phillips Mitchell
In salute of Breast Cancer Awareness Month TOPS is proud to share the stories of 23 survivors.
Meet Robin Eads.
After her diagnosis with Stage 2, Grade 3, Invasive Ductal
Carcinoma in 2013, Robin allowed herself one night to wallow in self-pity and then her survival instincts took over. A marble size lump found during her annual exam came as a shock since she had no family history of breast cancer. As a single mom of two children, Jacob (16) and Maddie (9), and parents who lived out of state, Robin became fiercely determined, stating “while survival was the only option, the glimpse of mortality and the well-being of my children scared me to death.”
Strength came from the love of her children and support of family and friends. Neighbors became family, co-workers provided comfort, and old friends from social media became a strong cheering section. Robin made life as routine as possible by going to work when she could and spending time with her children.
Robin immediately began seeking knowledge about the disease and treatment options. She interviewed doctors to find the right fit for her. For those beginning their journey, she encourages them by saying, “Attitude is everything, arm yourself for battle with all the knowledge you can about the disease and look at it as a curve in the road during life’s great journey.”
Now in remission, Robin is still learning her life story. She acknowledges each story is made up of struggle and joy. She hopes to be a source of comfort, as well as inspiration for others facing a cancer journey. Robin says, “People say ‘you only live once,’ but I prefer to say, you only die once, but have the opportunity to live every day you are on earth.”