Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Toni Staton Harris
Eyebrows by #Anastasia DipBrow Pomade
Simone, Culver City


A week into Breast Cancer Awareness Month, on yesterday I had my first mammogram since being diagnosed with Breast Cancer in September, 2013. 

Going into the Barbara Kort Women's Imaging Center, UCLA Health System, I was fine.  I knew the drill.  This is the place where it all started.  I knew the parking situation.  I understood the process and procedure.  I'd not only had my diagnostic mammogram here, but also my biopsy, ultrasound and needle localization before surgery.

The pink, top half only, gowns were familiar.  The landscape stilled a pleasant serene.  I had no other thoughts but routine goodness at this point. 

They called my name and I faced the machine that was to smash my yet tender and sore breasts onto a plastic plate.  I was cool, almost excited.  I was my joyous, bubbly self.  The technician started with the right breast... really cool with me.  The right breast hasn't been affected, a little tougher and I thought,  great... ease me in. 

The plates converged, I held my breath and when the pressure was released tears flowed from my eyes like Victoria Falls.  All of a sudden my entire year long journey flashed before my eyes: the room, the machines, the extreme cold from the air conditioning and the white walls no matter how much pink paraphernalia is used to mask the reality of the situation.

The technician cajoled me to step back and take a breath.  She was compassionate.  I shook the tears to the opposite corners of my neck and whispered, "let's do this..."  She nodded and proceeded. 

By now you know me.  I'm standing in my truth about this journey.  My breast hasn't fully healed yet, it's still tender and yes I was in pain.  I was in physical and emotional pain.  The shooting electrodes exploded in the upper part of my body.  The technician continued my examination, I fought through the pain and tears like a trooper. 

For a few minutes she released me to the rock/waterfall lounge area.  The doctors had to determine if the preliminary tests were conclusive enough to clear me or if I'd have to go back into the room for more pancake breast sandwiches.

I sat there numb, unaware of the time.  The compassionate technician placed one hand on my back and handed me the paper:  Preliminary Interpretation of Screening Mammograms > NORMAL (No evidence of cancer).  I sighed a sigh of relief, hugged the technician and headed out.  I had my parking validated and met Injeel who awaited me just outside the glass doors. 

Toni and Injeel
We embraced, took a few pictures and headed home for a celebratory breakfast: Scrambled Eggs with Swiss/Gruyere cheese mix, organic nitrate free smoked bacon, butter and strawberry jam on a toasted English Muffin, orange juice and Starbucks Pikes Place Roast via my Keurig with vanilla caramel creamer.

My point?  Painful? Yes.  Worth it?  More than yes.  People are still succumbing to Cancer in all forms.  By The Grace of God through Jesus Christ, I'm still here and I'm CLEAR.  By HIS stripes I am Healed.  I still have a ways to go but I AM HEALED. 

My second point... Get Tested... Feel Yourself at least once a month... Get checked... Take care of yourself first, spiritually and humanly.  Yes it can be painful but it's worth it.

Yay GOD!


  1. Yes YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, YOU ARE SOOOOO BEAUTIFUL to me. And, what a beautiful expression. You have and continue to be an amazing vessel throughout your entire ordeal. I am so very glad for and proud of you! Especially how you continue to allow our GOD to use you. Your brilliant writing style and commitment to sharing is the best PRAISE. CONTINUE DOING WHAT YOU ARE!