Cancer survivor seeks to inspire
Four years ago, Sasha Phillips Ashburn was in full flight as she worked assiduously as an event planner. She had a blooming business of selling clothes on the side, was married and looking forward to starting her family. She was also very active in her church. But a month before her 29th birthday, she received the tragic news that the lump she's been suspicious of in her right breast, was actually cancer.
"I was diagnosed in 2015, I was feeling a lump in my breast, two years prior to that. I keep going to my doctor and telling him about the lump. My paternal and maternal grandmother had cancer, so I continued to check on it. I went somewhere else and did the breast ultrasound, and they said yes, there's something there, and it could be cancerous," she said.
Ashburn said after she did a biopsy she was diagnosed with stage two invasive breast cancer. But after a year on a raw food diet, and three months receiving therapy at the Hippocrates health facility in Florida, she was cancer free.
But a year later, she felt the lump coming back, and this time, with a vengeance.
"I was scared, my breast started swelling this time, I went overseas, and did a series of tests and found out it was in stage four, and the doctors were saying there was nothing they could do, they just didn't see where it was possible that I would be alive," she said
And although she was very distressed, she found comfort in her faith, and in sharing her journey on her social media platforms.
"I posted everything on Facebook, and persons have been following and feeling inspired by it. People need that when they're going through things like this, because when you feel alone, sometimes the pain alone will kill you because you don't have any support," she said.
"Being the Christian that I was, I spoke to God, and I say, well, the doctors give up on me now. One of the doctors said they would give me an aggressive type of chemotherapy, but that wouldn't cure anything, it would just make me comfortable until," she added.
So Ashburn said she decided not to do chemotherapy, especially after what she saw her grandmothers went through with it.
Instead, she went on to do radiosurgery, but this was costly.
"I needed to do 21 sessions of radiosurgery, this would target only the cancer cells. Each session would cost US$6,000. I started a GoFundMe account, and got US$6,000. I also applied for and got Medicaid, although I was told it was like food stamp Medicaid, but the doctor accepted it and it covered the sessions," she said
Now, at 33 year old, Ashburn has been cancer free since April. And after four years of sickness, she is looking forward to returning to her life as it was before cancer; only this time, she'll take things a little easier.
"I need to be eating stuff to gain a little weight, but my energy is up, I'm feeling good in my body," she said.