Maha Hafez Witherington is MORE THAN PINK® and she is using her cancer journey to bring the community together to combat breast cancer. Maha started her cancer battle after a simple scratch on my right breast in June of 2013. She felt a very unusual growth, the size of a lemon. “I did the necessary exams and my biopsy revealed, breast cancer stage 2 – advanced! Not an easy thing to hear, I felt the world spinning around me in less than a flash.”
Maha had two choices to make:
1- Listen to the protocol of my treatments and move on
2- Listen to myself and do nothing
Maha decided to choose the first option which was a protocol treatment of 2 years. She started with a partial removal surgery of her right breast and removal of 16 lymph nodes. After a month of recovery, she started 6 months of chemotherapy. “The first four were the red devil, OMG, it knocked me out.” After chemo she started radiation for 7 weeks (Monday – Friday at 6 am daily), that knocked her out too. After radiation, Maha started a year of Herceptin infusions; one every three weeks. After the Herceptin infusions, she had a left breast reduction to balance the weight on her body. All this was done by December 2014.
As a career woman, Maha continued to work during her treatments. “This was my main power as I did not want to be sick or feel sick. I had a lot of support from God, my work, family and friends. I joined a lot of support groups and I stood tall talking about cancer and my personal journey with cancer among many groups and a crowd of people. I shaved off my own hair and did not wait for chemo to do it. I was bold and proud!”
Maha continued to go out in public with no shame and she looked at her scares as strength. She was very proud of all her accomplishments. She is also very keen about her medical follow-ups, mammograms, and taking the daily preventive cancer pill Anastrozole for five years and will continue for another two years – hopefully March 2021. To know Maha is to know her love of life. She looks at everything life throws at her as a blessing from God. “I can take it or leave it. I can smile about it or cry about it. I can win or lose, but I accept everything with an open heart. I am very proud of ME, and I always remind myself that cancer may visit again. I am open and ready to fight again with all my God given power. I am blessed!”
Maha is helping raise funds to help those in need. To help women in need to do their annual mammograms and pay for their treatments. She is raising funds to enable more advanced cancer research around the globe.
“I am a proud cancer survivor!”
Maha says the most important thing she learned during her cancer journey was to have more faith and more patience. To slow down and be stress free and to love herself and take care of herself first so she can be available and capable to assist others. She says it’s important to her to do the things she likes and always thrived to do but did not. She was blessed with amazing and very supportive family, friends and co-workers. Her three children took turns being with her during chemo.
Maha’s advice to others affected by breast cancer is to never give up. To try and make the best our of the treatment journey and do your mammograms and self-checking regularly.
Maha was introduced to Komen Arkansas by other volunteers and we are so thankful for all of her support and willingness to fight this disease with us! We couldn’t be prouder to have her as one of our 2020 Honored Survivors at this year’s MORE THAN PINK Walk.
If you would like to support Maha’s fundraising efforts in her honor, please click here.