My Cancer Horse

By Jessica Randall

September 7th, 2016

On Oct. 13, 2015, I was unexpectedly diagnosed with stage two, triple positive breast cancer, two weeks before my 23rd birthday. I have no family history of cancer and I've always been healthy and active, so when I heard the words, "you have cancer," I was in shock. I had just gotten married to my wonderful husband, went through a flood, was on a new college path, and bought a house...what were we going to do? The very next day, I picked up a pencil and began drawing my favorite animal, a horse. I have loved horses for all my life and have been riding them for just as long. Their strength, beauty and movements have always brought me comfort. As I was sketching, this image came barreling towards me and, without thinking, I was creating my very own symbol of hope. Splattering the pink all over the page helped me vent my frustrations, and the clean lines of my pen calmed my mind. Once I was finished a week later, I put it up on social media as my way of telling everyone. Since I was diagnosed, I've had six months of intense chemotherapy, been hospitalized for a blood transfusion when my counts dropped, and had a double mastectomy. I'm in the process of reconstruction and have a few surgeries, and one round of chemotherapy left (my hair has started coming back though!). I've recieved so much positive feedback from my breast cancer horse, that I have decided to create one for all different types of cancers in the hopes that I can give every cancer survivor faith and encouragement to stay positive and keep fighting.