Breast cancer and chronic illness

Dawn Freeman was a recent guest in the SHARE podcast “My BC Life”. SHARE is a US group that educates and empowers women and families affected by women’s cancers). The podcast is a conversation between Dawn and host Megan-Claire Chase (herself a breast cancer survivor).

Dawn has a strong family history of multiple types of cancers. She is also living with Addison’s disease, also called adrenal insufficiency, which comes with a host of medical complications. Dawn was originally diagnosed with Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS) and underwent surgery and radiation therapy and subsequently experienced a recurrence. The podcast discusses the side effects of radiation therapy (including fatigue) and how skin reactions are often inadequately treated in Black women. Dawn discusses the process of making decisions about reconstruction, the trauma of multiple surgeries, body dysmorphia, and the lingering after effects of breast cancer treatment (including financial insecurity):

“I can’t do all the things I used to do…my life has changed. I am alive, and thank goodness for yoga and meditation but my life is not the life I used to live.”

Dawn shares her tips on protecting calming the mind, body, and spirit and finding something that resonates with you to find peace and focus.

Dawn is from Atlanta, Georgia and is a member of the leadership team for ZAMI NOBLA – (National Organization of Black Lesbians on Aging) – a membership-based organization committed to building a base of power for Black lesbians over the age of 40 in the United States.

Find the podcast here.


Image of Dawn: ZAMI NOBLA.