STAGE AT DIAGNOSIS: 3B
ER DIAGNOSIS: Positive
PR DIAGNOSIS: Positive
HER2 DIAGNOSIS: Negative
In Her Own Words…
Hi! I’m Asha! I am a pilot’s wife, mother of two of the best kids out there (totally not biased!), and a breast cancer veteran. I have battled through 12 surgeries and have continually remained determined to fight back in the war to learn to love this ever-changing body of mine.
In 2016 I started a journey of wellness and fitness in pursuit of becoming my best self. I fell in love with the strength it brought to every aspect of my life and I continue this lifestyle today while teaching others to live their best lives as a certified fitness instructor!
I had just turned 34 years old 3 weeks prior and had found this teeny tiny bump on the right side of my breast. I was convinced by every doctor that everything was fine.
Even the ultrasound came back great, they said. “Come back in 6 months if anything changes!”, the caller from the hospital cheerfully told me on the phone. But, a small still voice told me to get that biopsy. So, I did.
I didn’t suspect cancer, it honestly was never on my radar even though my sweet Granny had passed from cervical cancer years before. And now, here I was 4 days after that biopsy, where the Oncologist who’d been practicing for 30+ years told me he had no worries of cancer. “I was wrong. It’s cancer,” he had said on the phone at 8 am, ten minutes before putting my 8-year-old son on the school bus. In that indescribable moment, I felt as if I left my body and I’m slowly learning these days to come back home to her.
I underwent a double mastectomy with expanders, then had second stage reconstruction that put under the muscle implants in later, after healing from 30 radiation treatments. 5 months after that surgery, I found out the devastating news that my implants were recalled for causing another type of cancer. I underwent yet another breast surgery to take out those implants in 2020 and am currently flat(ish).
5 years into my cancer diagnosis I am mostly known for my devotion to my INCREDIBLE family, my steadfast faith, positive presence on Instagram, social activism voice, love of health and fitness, and organic living. I am also an enthusiast for self-advocacy while navigating the health care system, especially as BIPOC women.
Get To Know Asha…
What has been the most challenging part of your journey?
For me, I think the most challenging part has been what people call, “Survivorship”. Living with the PTSD of what was in the anxiety of what could be but also trying to live your best, authentic, and fullest life post-active treatment can definitely take a toll.
What is your superpower?
I think my superpower is the ability to feel other people’s emotions. I am an empath and for a long time, I thought feeling deep emotions meant that I was weak. The older I get the more I’m around people who appreciate this gift, I realize it really is a superpower that not everybody has and it’s helped me be able to deeply empathize and hold space for people that thought they were alone.
What is your theme song?
Right now it’s “Fear is Not My Future” by Maverick City
What is your favorite movie?
Oh, that’s an easy one! “Remember The Titans”! I know almost every line!
What your spirit animal?
I would say, a cheetah. Strong, resilient, wise
What is your favorite food?
Right now it’s been Salmon and Trinidadian curried mango!
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I can’t wait to visit Ireland and Italy!
What is your favorite quote?
“I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything; but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”
Edward Everett Hale
“My deepest fear is not that I am
inadequate. My deepest fear is that I am
powerful beyond measure… I asked
myself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous? Actually, who am I
not to be?
I am a child of God”
What I want all breast cancer patients to know…
Mental health and cancer go hand in hand. I truly think we need to have a Mental Health Professional standing right next to our different Oncologists at our first appointment. They are NEEDED and honestly just as important, in my opinion, to our survival and ongoing “cancer veteran” status.
There are usually three things I want breast cancer patients who are newly diagnosed to know.
- SLOW DOWN. Take a breath. You won’t die tomorrow. It’s okay to take some time to process and then move on.
- You are NOT alone! There’s this incredibly supportive and beautiful community that’s here to support and love you through it. Lean on us.
- Get an awesome therapist! It’s a hidden secret but shouldn’t be! Your mental health matters. Please care for it and advocate for it.
— Asha Miller