Over the past few weeks we have had the pleasure of introducing you to Smarty Mom Survivors. Women who were diagnosed with Breast Cancer and are conquering the disease everyday. They are moms, wives, fiance’s, daughters and friends. They are like us! Charlotte Radiology was kind enough to introduce them to us and then they went a step further – they hosted the Smarty Pants family for a mammography party. What a wonderful way for us to get our mammograms, surrounded by our girlfriends! Please take control of your health and get your mammogram.
This week’s Smarty Mom Survivor is Diane Glenn. Diane is originally from Orlando and came to the Queens City 10 years ago. She has been married to Michael for 14 years and is mom to Justin (21), Arin (13) and Amiah (5). Diane is Wealth Management/investment professional and we are excited for her to share her story.
Tell us about being diagnosed with breast cancer and how you are doing today?
Being diagnosed with breast cancer can lead to a host of emotion. For me, I was frightened and immediately my life was filled with uncertainty. I often say, the first day was the most difficult day of my journey. Through prayer, my faith, love of family and so many others, I was able to move forward to begin the process of treatment and care.
Today, I am doing so well physically, spiritually and emotionally. I thank God for the courage He gave me and the love he supplied to me through countless people. This had a huge impact on my outlook on life and I was compelled to spread that same love. As a result, every year I host a gala called Celebrating the Gift of Life where we raise money for organizations who are supporting the cause of cancer and it’s a true celebration of life, especially for the survivors on that evening. The 3rd annual Celebrating the Gift of Life gala event will be held on Sunday, October 24.
How did you tell your children about your illness and treatment?
Well, being that the age gap between each child is so wide, I shared the information differently. For my oldest, I felt it would be best not to beat around the bush but to tell him directly and then follow that with as much education as possible so he would understand what was happening. I provided him with numerous updates throughout and allowed him to be at the hospital with me and the rest of my family when I went for surgery. My middle child was only eight and very sensitive so I explained that mommy was sick and that I would have to see the doctor a lot but that I would ultimately be o.k. For my youngest…well she was only 10 months old so I just prayed that I could continue to give her the love and care she was accustomed to. That definitely happened and some thanks again to family and friends who were with my family.
What was the biggest help to you as you endured treatment?
Fortunately, I did not undergo chemotherapy or radiation but the surgery was very extensive and required about six weeks of healing. The greatest help I received was the collective support I received from many. This included help with my children, meals being prepared and just the positive energy that surrounded me.
What advice do you have for other young women about breast health and detection of breast cancer?
I would say that breast health starts when a young lady develops breasts. She should be aware that you have to care for them and examine them periodically so that you are familiar just as you are with more obvious parts of your body. Then as she gets older and requires screening, she should be serious and disciplined in seeing her doctor and getting her mammograms. Its not enough to put breast health on the radar screen when you reach a certain age like 40 or 50.
What is your favorite family activity?
Riding bikes, playing board games, visiting family on Sunday afternoon.
Favorite place to meet girlfriends for lunch?
Lava Bistro in Charlotte, NC.
Best place to eat out with the whole family?
Red Robin (free refills on the fries and drinks)
Best place to eat for date night?
Favorite weekend escape?
Nice hotel in the mountains of Asheville, NC
Funniest things your children have said?
During a conversation with my youngest Amiah, she asked “Where is God-mommy”? I said, “God-mommy is in Miami”. She responds by asking, “so God-mommy is in Her-ami? Ha, ha, ha. She switched the name of My-ami to Her-ami.
Best kids birthday party you’ve attended?
It was actually one I gave to my middle child for 8th birthday, which falls on or around Mother’s Day. I had various stations set up for the children to make their own spa products(lotion, bath salts, etc) to go in a gift basket for their mother on Mother’s Day.
Mini-van or SUV?
Minivan all the way
Best book you’ve read lately?
Spiritual Father…Spiritual Son by Pastor Michael A. Stevens. This book was only about 60 pages and was very revealing to me. This book is not geared toward men and boys as the title suggests.
Smartest way you save $$?
Know where your money is going by keeping track of expenses(write it out) and then developing a plan to reduce the misc. expense category. Also, combine coupons and in-store sales, but only buy what you need or planned to purchase
I could not live without my….
telephone or cellphone
Best thing about raising a family in Charlotte?
The best thing about raising kids in Charlotte is that it is very diverse and kid friendly so there are lots of things to do. Also, people here are very family oriented.
Best kept secret in Charlotte?
You have the pleasure of experiencing all four seasons.
Thank you Diane and best wishes for continued good health!