‘I am Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer and I’m Not Dying’ – Survivor Sheila Johnson’s Story

By Duchess Magazine

In 2009, at the age of 43, Terlisa Sheppard received news that would change her life forever: she was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer, also known as metastatic breast cancer (MBC). Despite the grim prognosis associated with this diagnosis, Terlisa embarked on a journey of resilience, hope, and advocacy that has inspired many.

Terlisa, a former Senior Master Sergeant in the United States Air Force, was no stranger to the impact of breast cancer. Her mother had succumbed to metastatic breast cancer in 2004, leaving a profound impact on Terlisa’s life. Determined to honor her mother’s memory and build her own legacy, Terlisa founded Survivor With A Good God, a non-profit organization aimed at supporting individuals living with breast cancer.

Through Survivor’s Lens, a platform conceived by her daughter, Terlisa offers a raw and honest look into her life as a black woman living with MBC. Her website provides valuable resources for those navigating breast cancer, emphasizing the importance of breast health and the need for accessible rehabilitation programs.

Terlisa’s journey has been marked by challenges, including aggressive treatments like bilateral mastectomy and chemotherapy. However, her faith and determination have remained unwavering. Inspired by Matthew 17:20, Terlisa believes that with faith, nothing is impossible.

One of the key aspects of Terlisa’s advocacy is her push for increased participation of black women in clinical trials. Recognizing the disparity in clinical trial participation, Terlisa joined a clinical trial herself, which proved successful in managing her cancer progression. She highlights the importance of representation in research to ensure that treatments are effective for all demographics.

Despite the hardships, Terlisa’s journey is one of hope and empowerment. As a 12-year breast cancer survivor, she uses her voice to empower others facing similar battles. Her story serves as a beacon of hope, reminding individuals that a cancer diagnosis does not define their future.

Terlisa’s advocacy extends beyond her personal journey; she strives to raise awareness and support for all individuals affected by breast cancer. Through her work, she hopes to inspire others to embrace hope, take charge of their health, and advocate for change.

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