CONNECT. WELCOME. WE ARE HERE FOR YOU.

I am so honored to have these six incredible women be such an integral part of my global mission to connect us all on the emotional side of this disease. This community is so authentic and I am honored to have each one of them help with this much needed global movement to connect us from anywhere in the world. XXOO, Cynthia

Dr. Christina Hibbert- Senior Emotional Contributor for Learn Look Locate

Welcome to Learn Look Locate’s “Connect” page. I’m Dr Christina Hibbert, psychologist, speaker, author, mom of 6, & breast cancer warrior. I was diagnosed with stage 1 triple negative breast cancer and the BRCA1 genetic mutation in July 2019, & I’m still dealing with the bio-psycho-social-emotional impact of a double mastectomy, chemotherapy, 13 total surgeries, & too many complications to name.

That’s why I’m here. To help you know:
1) You’re not alone. I see you. I feel you. I understand.
2) It’s not your fault. What you feel is real, is justified, is not a weakness on your part.
3) Help and hope are available. Join my Growing Through Breast Cancer virtual emotional support group, here. And check out the women & stories below.

We are here to CONNECT with you.

Christina G. Hibbert, PsyD
www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

I was diagnosed with stage 1 triple negative breast cancer and the BRCA1 genetic mutation in July 2019. At the time, I thought I’d have three surgeries, wouldn’t need chemo, and would be “done” with breast cancer in three months or so.

27 months later, I’ve been through chemotherapy with cold-capping to save my hair, kidney stones, blood clots, 5 staph infections, a strangulated hernia, depression, PTSD, gastroparesis, breast implant illness, and even had to start my breast reconstruction all over with a DIEP Flap in September 2020, for a grand total of 13 surgeries. So far….

I know the intense physical toll breast cancer takes, no matter your stage and course of treatment. I know what it’s like to have just about everything go “wrong.” I know the immense responsibility of carrying a BRCA mutation. I know the mental and emotional exhaustion that results from intense loss, trauma, and fears. I know how difficult it can be to hold it together—for yourself and all around you—when it feels like everything is just trying to break you down.

I know the vast lack of emotional support for breast cancer previvors, warriors, and survivors—the misunderstanding of others who think when treatment is “done” that you’re DONE. I know the sifting of friends and support people, as they fall away, or fail to show up. I KNOW.

That’s why I do what I do—why I share my experiences openly and honestly, why I offer practical strategies for coping and healing, why I started my global virtual emotional support group, and why I partner with Learn, Look, Locate.

That’s why I’m HERE. To help you know:
1) You’re not alone! I see you. I feel you. I understand.
2) It’s not your fault! What you feel is real, is justified, is not a weakness on your part.
3) Help and hope are available! We are here to CONNECT with you.
This is why I do what I do.
Because of YOU.

Rachelle

Hi, my name is Rachelle and I was diagnosed with Stage 2b ER/PR+, HER2-, BRCA2+ at 29 years old with no family history in October of 2020. I worked in the beauty and fashion industry and have been a career makeup artist for the last 10 years, and my life was just beginning to thrive when I was hit with this diagnosis. I am an emotional contributor for LLL because I want to share a unique perspective of how makeup and fashion served as a form of mental health during my breast cancer fight.

Lauren

My name is Lauren. I was diagnosed with stage 2 HER2+ Er/Pr-BRCA – at the age of 34 in September of 2020. I am a published author and host a moonlight podcast: Life with Little Ones. I am an emotional contributor for LLL because I know what it’s like to be diagnosed and have information at your finger tips but still not have any direction.

Sammie

Welcome! Welcome to the club none of us wanted to belong – the breast cancer club. Right now, you are probably feeling overwhelmed with questions spinning in your head like a tornado. You are probably feeling like you are standing in the middle of an apocalypse that has just blown up your world as you knew it. I am here to tell you to stop and take a deep breath. You are with family. You are home. We are a sisterhood of support, strength and inspiration. Let us put our arms around you.

My sister: hold onto my hand firmly as we soar through this cancer journey together. Once the feelings of confusion, fear and chaos dissipate a little, you will find yourself feeling a host of emotions only you and this club could ever understand. You will ping pong back and forth between feeling hopeful and hopeless. Your relationships will change, and some will be tested. But remember – cancer isn’t the end, it is a new beginning.

You WILL be okay, even if it doesn’t seem like it now. You will find a way to be at peace with your diagnosis. You will discover parts of yourself you never knew were inside of you. You will grow emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually to heights you never thought possible.  You will discover no path is wrong, no steps misguided, because it is your path and your feet and no one will ever be able to walk in your shoes. There are a lot of uncertainties when it comes to cancer but one thing is for sure and that is the fact that cancer will change you. Now, it is your decision whether it changes you for the better or for the worse. I leave you with this quote from the late, great, Maya Angelou:
“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

Mindy

You may not know me yet. You may not know us yet. The fact that these words are meeting your gaze means this message was meant to find you. We were meant to find you, and you, us.

You might be wondering who we are. We are the breast cancer community, a robust support family of love and hope, a sisterhood of solidarity. We will show up for you within seconds of your reach. Together, we will wrap our weathered arms of experience around you and we will hold you close. Never again will you have to feel alone or misunderstood.

This journey you are embarking upon…

Though it may be wrought with challenges and uncertainty, we want you to know that this can be done. And we are here to demonstrate exactly that, that is possible to thrive again. Our mission is to instill in your heart the peace and belief that this will get better and that there is still joy to be found in every day. It will, and it is.

Whether you or someone else discovered your cancer, it has been revealed and the now that is here has been designed to help you to meet the supreme healing that you long to achieve.

Please know that your body has not failed you; it merely didn’t know how else to tell you something was amiss. Your body is not working against you, but with you. With every pulse and every breath, your body is striving to demonstrate to you that it is working relentlessly, that it can be trusted again.

The hours may be long, but as the only constant in life is time, they will transform into opportunities for healing. Hold on. Hold fast your faith. Envision your mind and body, healed. Believe it will be.

Look to us, those that have walked this path before you. Embrace our stories of survivorship. You are us and we are you, existing in the same spaces but at different times.

We will guide you and we will light the way

Tricia

Hi. I’m Tricia Irene. It was April 10, 2019 that I was diagnosed with de novo stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. I was a 41 year old, single mom, with no family history. My goal is to help women to remember their strength. Partnering with LLL I am able to connect with women that are looking for the light at the end of the tunnel and together we can find comfort in each other’s journey.

Connect with someone who has been there. One to one free mentor support.

Christina

Stage 1

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Rachelle

Stage 2

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Lauren

Stage 2

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Sammie

Stage 4

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Mindy

Stage 2

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Tricia

Stage 4

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Christina, Stage 1

Tricia, Stage 4

Mindy, Stage 2

Rachelle, Stage 2

Sammie, Stage 4

Lauren, Stage 2

Imerman Angels’ mission is to provide comfort, support and understanding for all cancer fighters, survivors, previvors and caregivers through a personalized, one-on-one connections with someone who has been there. Connect with them to find a angel who can help with your journey.

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Christina

Stage 1

Coping with breast cancer and all it brings can be TOUGH. These are some things I have done to help me heal—physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually—and some of the things I encourage my clients to do, too.

Physical therapy has been a lifesaver, as has massage therapy, to help me deal with not only stress but the damaged core left to me by a massive strangulated hernia, and the consequential gastroparesis I’m learning to live with. I still struggle to regain physical strength, energy, and rebuild my core after so many surgeries, but I work every day on not only my body, but also to do the incredibly deep and difficult work of trauma healing—body, mind, heart, and soul. I’ve been working with a psychologist on my mental-emotional healing since my diagnosis and have been doing ketamine-assisted therapy sessions to process the breast cancer and many previous traumas in my life in a deeper way, too. I’m still unable to do many of the things I could do two years ago, before my diagnosis and treatment, but I’m getting stronger every week or month. And hear me when I say: “You will, too.”

I’m an avid journaler, and I write daily to help process my emotions and experiences. I also enjoy song-writing and singing, and have been writing poetry, and even learning to paint, all to help me process my feelings and use them to inspire and uplift others. As a mom of 6, I enjoy spending time with my children (ages 13-25), and my husband of 26 years, being in nature, hiking, or playing music together. And as the author of “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise,” I practice what I preach through walking, yoga, barre, hiking, and core work, to rebuild and strengthen my body and mind. I enjoy meditation, quiet moments in hammocks, reading, dark chocolate, and travel. Often all at the same time. And I recommend any of these to help you through YOUR breast cancer journey, too. Remember: “You’re not alone. However you’re feeling, it’s not your fault. And help and hope are available!” Never forget there are others, like me, like the women on this page, out there, who have been where you are, experienced what you’ve experienced, felt what you feel. Reach out and CONNECT with me, with us. Find your tribe, and let it support and encourage you every step of your way.
You are a WARRIOR! WE ARE WARRIORS! Battle after battle, you keep showing up. You never give up. And that is what warriors do.
I’d love nothing more than to CONNECT with YOU, and offer my professional and personal knowledge and experience to aid, support, and encourage you in your journey.
And be sure to check back here and on the RESOURCE page for updated articles, videos and helpful resources just for you.

Website/blog/podcast: www.drchristinahibbert.com
My books: This is How We Grow http://www.thisishowwegrow.com
Who Am I Without You? http://www.whoamiwithoutyou.com
8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise: http://www.exercise4mentalhealth.com
(Join the wait list) Mastery Of Motherhood http://www.masteryofmotherhood.com
Instagram: @drchristinahibbert
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/drchibbert
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/drchibbert/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/drchristinahibbert/
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/drchristinahibbert

Learn more about Dr. Hibbert’s books, blog, “Motherhood” podcast, “Breast Cancer Warrior” movement, and other resources on her award-winning website, www.DrChristinaHibbert.com. And join the “Growing Through Breast Cancer” FB and global virtual emotional support group, here.
FB Group: Growing Through Breast Cancer

Rachelle

Stage 2

I love all things makeup and fashion. I’m very much the creative type, always looking for an outlet to express myself artistically. I also love wine and own my own ecommerce wine business with 4 other partners, where we focus on educating and developing a wine palette while giving back to local community partners. I’m also a dog mom of 2 and love traveling. One thing that helped me the most during my diagnosis was not changing or sacrificing my lifestyle or the things I love. I may have needed to adjust and do some in moderation, but I focused on making sure not to lose my zest for life.

You can find me on instagram where I post lifestyle content around makeup and fashion and bridge it back to breast cancer and mental health! @rachellemakeup

Lauren

Stage 2

I love traveling , baking and eating exotic foods. I am an adventurous eater and live to travel. Coping with a cancer diagnosis can be extremely difficult but I find it helps not to lose yourself or your interests, keep doing what you can. I have baked through it all. My nurses and doctors do not hate it. I have found that locating women with a similar diagnosis or in my age group has been extremely helpful. I found them all on Instagram. Also working with my person oncological therapist has been instrumental. Type A Guide to Cancer is a great book for anyone going through treatment.

I have a podcast: Life with Little Ones and I wrote a book: Type A Guide to Cancer. I am not hard to find. Reach out, I would love to hear from you.
Instagram @TypeAGuidetoCancer @LifewithLittleOnes.Podcast

Sammie

Stage 4

I love traveling, reading and art. I do not regret my diagnosis one bit because my cancer led to my twin sister finding out she also carried the BRCA 1 gene and she was able to take preventative measures to reduce her risks of developing cancer in her lifetime. Once I discovered I was stage 4, I quit my high stress job, switched to a plant based diet, and slowly started to remove the stressors in my life. I found that writing blogs and art have really helped me cope through my cancer treatments. Another thing I did, which I am so thankful for now, was making video diaries throughout my cancer treatment. When I watch those videos now, it amazes me how I could remain so positive through all the pain, fear and uncertainty. Although I lost a lot to cancer (my hair, my breasts, ovaries, chances of having a child) I feel like I also gained a lot. I have learned how resilient our bodies are. I have learned how powerful a positive mindset is. I have learned that what you eat matters. I have learned it is okay to say “no” to things and the importance of listening to your body. I have learned the importance of speaking up. No one knows your body like you do.
When I look in the mirror, I do not see a victim. I see a strong warrior who has gone through battle and continues to fight every day, not just for myself, but for all the other young women who struggle to advocate for themselves. Learn Look Locate has given me purpose. I continue to write cancer blogs, connect with and advocate for women, and share the importance of genetic testing. Genetic testing saved my sister’s life, and it could save your life or someone you love too.
If you would like to connect with me for advice, tips, or just a person to listen to your story, do not hesitate to reach out! You can find me on Instagram @sammie_rose19 or email me at [email protected]

Stage 2

My heart and spirit feel most free when I am immersed in nature, whether that’s on my kayak on my favorite river, hiking my favorite trail, or running on the rolling hills near my home. My return to adventure and sport has been a personal quest on which I embarked following my recovery from chemotherapy and my multiple breast reconstruction surgeries. Enjoying these favorite spaces and activities again has helped to better my physical healing and strengthening, but also my mental health and emotional well-being.

If you are newly diagnosed, know that this may be hard, but it is doable. You are capable! You may not feel like you have what it takes in these moments to weather the storm that breast cancer is, but I can promise you that you will develop the strength and fortitude to prevail and to overcome the obstacles before you. Time may be one of the only constants we know, and by living your life one day (sometimes one hour) at a time, you will find that brighter days await. Speak kindly to person you see in the mirror. Know that you are beautiful in every chapter. Your body is experiencing great change and working ever so diligently, right along with your mind and soul. Show yourself grace. Believe in your body’s ability to heal, and never, ever relinquish your joy. Your joy is yours and no earthly disease has the power to remove this from your grasp unless you permit it. This will get better!

Both my mind and body are still recovering from the trauma that is breast cancer and its secondary effects. Despite this, I have found great meaning in connecting with other men and women affected by breast cancer, whether that’s through attending events or bonding through the written and spoken word. Helping others to feel seen and validated in their respective experiences fuels my soul. I have planned and hosted weekend getaways for my thriver and survivor sisters and oh what beauty there is to be found in building a community of love and understanding!

Nothing brings me more joy than to bring a positive impact to the life of another who is embarking upon this journey. My direct messages are always open and ready to embrace anyone who wishes to connect! Instagram:  @msmindymiller and Facebook:  Mindy Miller Draffen

Tricia

Stage 4

I am a full time mom. I homeschool my three kids, love to be in the kitchen and garden. I love fiber arts. And I have a passion for writing and public speaking. I swear by the power of gratitude. If you can remember all that you have to be grateful for, I promise you that you will also find joy. I have a Facebook group, a podcast, and I do lots of public speaking. Helping others ultimately helps me with my own journey. Oh, and did I mention my TikTok addiction?