Inez Whitehead-Dickens
Senator Seward, Inez, Betty The Cancer Kickin' Warrior Girls! Inez and Pat Beverly, Inez & Joyce Book Signing @ Borders Inez

In March 2001, I was diagnosed with Stage IIIB breast cancer. Without batting an eye, I told the surgeon who diagnosed me, to hit me with everything he had. So I endured a bilateral mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. If that wasn't enough, I also suffered a collapsed lung and due to infections, I had four additional surgeries.

While recovering at home from one of the surgeries, I was feeling depressed and sorry for myself. I was watching a TV show, when it was interrupted with the news that the World Trade Center had just been attacked; then the broadcast followed with news of the additional attacks.

Over the next couple of weeks, the media started relaying stories about the people who perished in the attacks. It was then that I had an "ah hah" moment. I said to myself, "these people were younger and in better health than me, and in a flash, their lives were over, never getting a chance to say goodbye to their loved ones". I realized that just because I had cancer, it didn't mean I was going to live life longer than anyone else; but it also didn't mean my life was going to be any shorter.

I was looking for someone to talk to who had my stage cancer, but couldn't find anyone; I thought the worst. I spoke with a member of a cancer organization and was told that there were people who survived my stage of cancer, but they didn't want to talk about it once they went through treatment.

That night I got on my knees and prayed to God, vowing, that if He got me through this, I would become the "voice". Well, He kept His word; now I'm keeping mine!

I write a column called "Cancer Kickin' Warrior" for The Catskill Daily Mail and The Register Star (, which tells the stories of people that have survived all kinds and stages of cancer. Also, I counsel people who have been diagnosed with cancer; I participate in cancer walks and am a proud board member of The Greene County Women's League Cancer Patient Aid, which is a nonprofit, (strictly volunteer) cancer organization. We give financial help to people who have trouble paying their cancer related pharmaceutical and medical bills.

My first book entitled "Cancer Kickin' Warrior—The ultimate feel-good cancer survivor book" is now available.

My goal is to help everyone to become a CANCER KICKIN' WARRIOR, not just a survivor!

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