Faces of a Warrior: Yvette Johnson Fish

Stories of Surviving and Thriving

July 3, 2016

Age: 58
Profession: Postal Clerk 
Type of Breast Cancer: Triple Negative
Year of Diagnosis 2010
Number of years as a survivor: 6 years
Relationship to Susan G. Komen: Race Participant and Komen Volunteer

My name is Yvette and I am a breast cancer survivor. I remember it like it was yesterday, walking into my doctor’s office after my annual mammogram six years ago, confident that I would receive good news. Nothing could have prepared me to hear the words, “you have breast cancer.” 

At that moment, I went totally numb. Seeing my reaction, my doctor thought I should call someone to be by my side as everything was explained to me, but I couldn’t reach my husband or several girlfriends. Finally I was able to reach a friend who came and listened as my doctor explained everything to her. As I left the office, I called my husband and invited my family over so that I could tell them about my diagnosis. Some of my family members began to cry as I shared the news, and I consoled them. It was especially hard to hear my father cry for me. My girlfriend went on to explain to them everything the doctor had said, and soon the encouragement began to flow. 

I took the week that followed off from work so that I could gather my thoughts and find a doctor to get me through this journey. On my way into work the next week, I picked up an ice cream cake with scriptures on it. My co-workers couldn’t believe it. But I knew that sharing the news of my diagnosis would help me heal. 

Since my diagnosis in 2010, I appreciate life so much more. I appreciate nature – listening to birds sing brings me so much joy. I take nothing for granted. I am embracing each and every moment I am given. I care less about the things that aren’t important and I’m a lot more focused on what is important. Spending time with family and friends and attending church are the things I focus on now. I cherish every moment with them. They get all my attention now. 

It was the support of my family and friends that got me through the difficult days. It meant so much to me to get their visits, phone calls, covered dishes and so many other acts of kindness. My loving husband took me to my doctors’ visits and was my rock. My church members supported me, prayed for me, loved me, and encouraged and supported my family. Being in touch with prayer, inspirational and gospel music kept me strong. Faith was the most profound aspect that helped me through my breast cancer journey and it still is today. 

Through it all, I refused to allow breast cancer to stop me from living my life in a normal way. I refused to let it to stop me from living my life with intention. That was very important to me. I was blessed that I was able to continue my regular routines without fail. 

Now, six years into this journey, I have become an advocate for women’s breast health and enjoy educating and encouraging women that are newly diagnosed. Knowing that I am helping other women brings me such a sense of contentment.

About the Faces of a Warrior Campaign

Last year, to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Komen Miami/Ft. Lauderdale Race for the Cure®, Susan G. Komen Miami/Ft. Lauderdale teamed with 101.5 LITE FM to launch the Faces of a Warrior campaign. 

To mark the 21st Annual Race for the Cure®, Komen is spotlighting 21 survivors to represent each year the Race has run. These individuals are sharing their stories of strength and resilience -- not just of surviving breast cancer, but thriving in spite of it.

Read the stories of more Warriors here

For more information on the Faces of a Warrior campaign -- and other ways you can get involved in the Race for the Cure® -- please email info@komenmiaftl.org or call 954-909-0454