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When my mother was diagnosed with cancer I was devastated. My world has literally been turned upside down since our family received the news. And while I spent hours doing everything in my power to assure that her care was up to my high standards, my mother losing her hair was obviously an after thought. But with each hand full of gorgeous salt and pepper tresses that left my mother’s scalp, I began to realize how much power we give our hair as women.

MUST READ: Battle & Beat It: My Mother Wouldn’t Let Breast Cancer Kill Her

Meet Janae’ Veal, a 32-year-old fitness trainer who lived by all the health rules and was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 30. She decided early in her battle that this was not going to be a death sentence for her. Even when it came to her hair loss Janae’ took control. Her story reminds us that sometimes life will just happen, whether you are ready or not. It’s your reaction to those life hiccups that make you who you.

Join #TeamBeautiful as we celebrate Janae’s battle with cancer. Check out her intimate confession of her journey and some advice for those still battling cancer.

1. How did you learn of your diagnosis with breast cancer?

I had a noticeable lump under my arm. Once checked, testing confirmed it as aggressive stage one breast cancer.

2. As a survivor, can you share your journey with our readers?

I was very healthy, cooked my own food (no extra salt or sugar), exercised regularly & I had no history of breast cancer in my family. I was the healthiest person that my friends and family knew, but that still didn’t change the fact that I had breast cancer at age 30. Over the past year I had a lumpectomy (April 2011), 6 rounds of chemotherapy (June – October 2011) and 33 radiation treatments (October- December 2011). I continued treatment with Herceptin until June 2012 and currently take hormone therapy treatment with Tamoxifin.

3. How did treatment affect your hair and how did you treat your hair post treatments?

I continued to wear it as I always did, long and pressed out straight for about a week or so. After being tired of loose hair being all over the place, I decided to shave it. I loved my bald head. I felt so confident, so sexy, so free, so empowered. Once I was done with the treatments it slowly started to grow back. Before cancer I had naturally curly hair that I wore either curly or straight. My new hair came back so extra soft, just like baby hair. It was so silky and soft, and wavy once it got a little length to it. After about 4 months it started to feel normal again. It’s back to being really curly. I miss my long hair some days but short is so easy.

4. What advice did you want to leave with our readers regarding staying strong through times of challenge?It seems like a lot, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I never thought that I was going to die. So from day one, I always claimed how I wanted to feel and to be positive. I used this as an opportunity to show those around me that God is still real. I share my journey with any and everybody. I want people to know that they are not alone. Things happen for a reason and we must embrace whatever change it may be. I always tell people that breast cancer has been the best worst thing to ever happen to me.

5. How can our readers get in contact with you?

Twitter: @jveal


Instagram: @j_veal


To read more Stories of Strength follow My African Pride on Facebook.


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