Mylee YC - Veteran, Cancer Survivor

Categories: Overcoming
Date: 23 Dec 2014 13:31

Original post: March 21, 2014

Mylee YC served in the US Army on active duty for over 12 years and retired March 2014. She worked as a Civil Affairs Specialist and as an instructor to initial entry Soldiers, preparing them for the mental and physical expectations of their jobs. In 2011, Mylee was selected to be one of the first women to train and deploy as part of the Army Special Operations Cultural Support Program. During her deployment, she enabled U.S. Special Operations teams to gain cultural insight, gather information on enemy activities, and help promote government for Afghan families. Unlike many female soldiers, Mylee found herself supporting those Special Operations units in remote parts of Afghanistan. It was during this deployment that she discovered a mass in her left breast. She made the decision to continue her tour while keeping a close eye on the lump. Upon returning in March of 2012, she underwent an ultrasound, which led to a surgical consult and ultimately, a diagnosis of Stage IIIc breast cancer.

Over the last year, Mylee has been through chemo (started May 22 to present); had a bilateral mastectomy and partial hysterectomy (Oct 25, 2012); 35 treatments of radiation (Dec 26- Feb 14); and is now learning to accept that this is the new normal. She is currently battling with the side effects of these procedures, one of which is lymphedema in her left arm. She is learning new ways to continue to workout with results and refuses to allow this injury to limit her abilities.

“SAYiWON'T has two different meanings to me. Not only am I daring others to SAYiWON'T succeed… I am also reminding myself that I can never give up because I know what I am capable of. I can overcome any obstacles that come my way. The biggest challenge for me was learning that being sick or injured does not make you weak. I have learned that I am only weak when I stop fighting, stop moving forward, or accept defeat. It's all about how we handle the uncontrollable factors that life throws at us. We may not control a lot in life but we do control how we respond and I choose to focus on the positive and keep fighting back.” 

Mylee YC is applying the same mentality that she has used throughout her military career; just keep fighting and never give up. A healthy lifestyle and physical fitness have always been important to Mylee. She always struggled with weight and body image issues, and at her heaviest she weighed 213 pounds. It has taken time, but she has learned to love herself and her body. Mylee's goal is to share her story in hopes that it will motivate others to take control of their health and fitness regardless of the situations in which they may find themselves. She is currently a spokesperson for Manning Up USA, and once she has completed her commitment to the military, she hopes to work as a trainer/coach to help others realize the benefits of living a healthy and fit lifestyle. 

“Over the past 12 years I have dealt with significant weight gain/loss abuse, kidnapping, sexual assault, injuries, deployments, PTSD, and Stage 3c breast cancer. No matter how challenging, I never saw those things as a reason to give up or stop fighting. Yes, I have had moments that I asked the universe, "Why does everything always have to be a struggle?" But after that moment I continued pushing forward. I could never see myself giving up. Life is an amazing gift: one that I cherish, but if I let the bad times beat me down I know I won't be around to experience all the good times.” 

“Everything I have lived through has taught me something about myself; my strengths and my weakness. I may not have gotten it right every time but I never gave up and I never will. No matter how many times life tries to push me down I will stand up and push back even harder. I started sharing my story as a way to help myself and hopefully help others. This has been an amazing journey and I have met some seriously strong individuals. My goal is to be a great role model for my daughter, to lead by example and show her and others that you do not have to be defined by your situation. I will always fight back and dare others to SAYiWON’T!”

Be Perfectly Flawed:
“I am human, thus flawed. I've made mistakes - but from this day forward, I choose to not live in the past and learn from those mistakes. Though I'm perfectly flawed, I will strive to be a better version of the old me. I have accepted my shortcomings; I want to be mentally, emotionally, and physically strong. I am committed to transforming myself from the inside out and embracing this new healthier, fitter balanced lifestyle.” ~Mylee YC

We asked Mylee if she had to describe herself in one word, what would it be? She replied, “RESILIENT”. SAY I WON’T! 

Follow Mylee YC:
Twitter & Instagram: @MyleeYC


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