Ms. Tonia is Fighting Strong with Family by Her Side

Ms Tonia is one of my beautiful pink warriors (breast cancer survivors).  She is a young lady with a fighting spirit and a huge smile that is contagious.  I was so honored to meet her, take her portraits and to be able to share her story with you.  She kept me laughing and entertained the whole time.  Tonia is beautiful inside and out and so very courageous.  She does not let her struggles keep her down.  If you would, please say a little prayer for her and her family as they continue to fight. 

My name is Tonia Hinsley, let me start first by saying family has been and will always be the only thing constant in my life for sure.  If it were not for God, Prayers, and my family I know I wouldn’t be here today.

On December 10, 2014,  we had just returned from a cruise, and life was good, I thought! On December 19th, 2014, I was getting out of the bathtub when I dried off and reached up under my left arm to see if I had shaved. That’s when I felt a softball size knot.

This scared me, as it had not been there before. So I immediately called my local family doctor and told my nurse that something was wrong and I needed to see them.

My doctor examined it and said it was a tumor but this close to Christmas, no one would get me in to do the mammogram or other testing until after the 1st of the year. He asked me, “Do you want to know if it’s cancer or not?” I said, ” Yes, if there is any way, because waiting two weeks would drive me nuts.”

My Doctor, thank goodness, had pull at the local hospital, so he sent a nurse over to get a biopsy. The doctor did a biopsy then my husband and I waited. It seemed like forever.  but the doctor finally came out and said,  “YES, YOU HAVE BREAST CANCER & it is AT LEAST STAGE III.”

The next 2-3 days were a blur, I did not want to tell my parents or kids because it would just ruin Christmas for everyone. My so-called husband stayed away from me either at work or wherever he could instead of being at home with me. After praying, crying, and worrying, I decided to tell my parents first, then my sister, then the kids. They asked questions, but all I knew was I was going to start an application to MD Anderson in Houston as soon as possible. They told me if I was fighting this, then they were too, and they have always been there for me.

On Jan 1st, 2015, I started the application, finished the first page and saved it.  Then out of nowhere my phone rang. It was MD Anderson. This young man helped me complete everything and by the time we finished, I had my first appointment on January 7th, 2015.

Treatment Begins for Breast Cancer

On 2/11/15 they removed the Stage 3 infiltrating duct carcinoma from under the left arm and 31 lymph nodes from the same arm. Then we started extensive chemo including Red Devil for the next 9 months. I completed that poison on 11/18/2015.

I rang the bell with my whole family there, I had beat breast cancer. In March, my husband could not handle any of this, so he left me. (Him leaving was a blessing in disguise because you need to be as stress-free as possible to travel this road I was on.  When he left it was a load off my shoulders).

Next, after a short break, we started extensive radiation.  When my immune system got down, or I got too sick,  we would stop.  It took 9 months to complete.

On 11/18/2016 with my whole family and friends there, I rang the bell again. 

A Surgeon did reconstructive surgery, but my right breast was not stitched correctly so I currently have a 20-year-old left breast and a 50-year-old right breast. LOL

Not What they Wanted to Hear 

I was Cancer Free for 4 years and 9 months when on 8/01/2020, I got sick and was admitted to the hospital.  After exploratory surgery, I was told that my cancer had returned and spread.

I have Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer in bones, colon, and just about everywhere in the stomach cavity.  Fourteen bones have cancer spots and I just had hernia surgery where more was found. 

GOD is good, he will never give you more than you can handle and I am fighting this too. My cancer markers have gone from 1400 to currently 50.  I am taking some rough chemo but it’s working. My current doctor said it’s weird that my cancer marker number is so low. I said that’s from lots of prayers, my God, and my unlimited support.

My story is not over yet and no telling how much more I will add. I plan on being here for a long time. I got 5 grandbabies to see attend their proms, graduate, get married ….. So stay tuned here for the rest of the story.


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If you know a breast cancer survivor that you would like to honor with a complimentary glamour session, please fill out this nomination form. I will reach out them.  Studies show that this type of session can help in the healing process and I would love to help.     Nomination Form


December 28, 2021

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