Beth Fairchild - Mother. Artist. Yogi. Advocate.

My name is Beth Fairchild. In my former life, I was an artist, mother, wife, daughter and friend. Now, while I may still be all of these, I have added metastatic breast cancer patient and advocate and terminal optimist to the list of things that make me, me. This is my new, cancer life.

In 2014, after months of complaining of intestinal discomfort and lack of energy, it was discovered that my ovaries were the size of grapefruits and in danger of rupture. They had to come out and, because I had a family history (my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer at 44 and my paternal grandmother was dead form metastatic cancer and buried at 33), I decided on a total hysterectomy. My surgery was Monday, May 12, 2014, the day after Mother’s Day. Tissue samples were sent off to pathology, and two days later, at just 34 years old, I was told that I had breast cancer. No one ever wants to hear the “C” word. Ever. But I was diagnosed with Stage IV Lobular Carcinoma with metastases to the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix, the top portion of my vagina, the omentum and in the fluid surrounding all of these things. While I’m no doctor, I knew Stage IV wasn’t good. In fact, it’s real bad. I was told that there were treatments available, but no cure. I was told that even with treatments, someone like me, statistically speaking, would live two years—maybe more, maybe less. After my diagnosis, I came home to die. I was in agony from the pain of surgery and my head was spinning. I couldn’t see past that moment in time. But it got better. Every. Day. My body healed. I got stronger. I endured 18 weeks of chemo and SURVIVED! I was a 34-year-old, post-menopausal, bald-headed, terminal cancer patient, but I was alive, damn it! I was alive and LIVING and I set out to take back control of my life.

I’m a driven woman. I am motivated by purpose. If I have a goal to work towards, I can dig deep and find success. My children were my first motivation. I saw the hurt and fear in their eyes. Mommy couldn’t assure them that things would be ok, but I could show them that Mommy wasn’t going to give up. I talked candidly with them about my condition and treatment. I got up every morning and took them to school. Even the days I didn’t feel like it, I got up. I was a mom first, and they kept me going.

My job was also a distraction from Cancer. I’m an artist. I make tattoos. My specialty is permanent cosmetics and areola restoration for breast cancer patients. Ironic, huh? But on the days I had to see my breast cancer clients, I knew what the procedure meant to them, so I would leave chemo and go straight to the studio and help a woman feel whole again. That was like therapy to me, still is. 
No one can say for sure when my time will be up, or even for certain that this thief of life we call cancer will be the cause but, short of a miracle—and I do still believe in miracles—I will die with this cancer in my body. But that does not mean that the cancer will have won. I will NOT allow cancer to beat me, because even in my death, there will be life…and hope.

The legacy I leave behind will live on, in the way I live now, the life lessons I teach my children, my advocacy work, the words I share here and in other forums and groups. If I can enlighten another who is uneducated about breast cancer or be of service to someone in need, or maybe my story will move someone to see a doctor or to have a scan or mammogram, if I can help save just one person, then I will have served a greater good.                                   
Check out more from Beth on her Instagram: @Bethfairchild

Leave a comment

Name .
Message .

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Back to the top