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Julia's Chapter

Our Story Series

Julia is a writer and historian who is also an exemplary cancer survivor. Originally diagnosed in February of 2015 with Stage 2 ER-/PR-/HER2+ breast cancer, her cancer journey took a turn in June of the same year and progressed to Stage 4. By December 2019, the cancer reached her brain, resulting in brain surgery and Gamma Knife radiation. She also went through a double hip surgery in January 2020 with a new left hip and a metal rod down her right femur. Julia currently manages the challenge of cancer with oral medications, regular oncologist visits, echocardiograms, CT scans, and MRIs.


A progressive diagnosis like hers is difficult to manage, and Julia finds that the hardest lesson she has learned is “to love the life I was given and not [mourn] the one I planned.”  Her faith in God has aided her in this along with the support of her family, friends, and organizations. A quote Julia holds onto when times become difficult…

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” -- Matthew (6:34 NIV)

If Julia could go back in time and advise herself to when she was first diagnosed, she would advise her to lean into her faith and 

“do the best you can. Cry if you have to; sometimes life gets wonky. However, God has a plan and purpose so have faith in the outcome and His timing. You are a wonderful woman – loved and loving – so don’t doubt yourself so much. You have so much to be grateful for.”

Julia’s best advice for other breast cancer patients is to lean into their faith and to use statistics and medical advice as a helpful reference rather than unquestionable facts. Throughout Julia’s cancer journey, the doctors believed she had around six months to get her affairs in order. This understanding gave her the experience of fear, shock, and confusion as the data became overwhelming. However, Julia believes that your journey is unique and so is your treatment plan, so lean into what helps you build the courage to keep believing in yourself.

Even with the hard cancer journey Julia has been through, her faith, energy, and courage have helped her live a prosperous life in Hawai'i today.

A vital part of Breast Cancer Hawaii's mission is to foster a supportive community for those impacted by breast cancer. Sharing stories like these helps create a safe space for survivors and lets others know that they are not alone in their journey.


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