A Virginia mother battling stage four breast cancer is working to preserve the memories she creates every day with her three daughters by writing letters to them daily.
Bridgette Johnson was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer five years ago. Johnson chose to undergo six aggressive forms of chemotherapy - she had a bilateral mastectomy and had her ovaries removed.
Johnson’s doctors believed the cancer was gone; a few months later, Johnson was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer that spread to her bones, liver and brain. Johnson had to leave her job as magazine journalist after she was diagnosed.
"My question was what are we going to do from here?" Johnson said. "Not necessarily am I going to beat this? But what are the next steps."
Those next steps included weekly chemotherapy sessions and radiation treatment for the tumors on her brain. Today, Johnson works every day to preserve the memories she creates with her three daughters.
Johnson writes letters in a journal to her six, nine and 11-year-old daughters every day. The letters are different for each child and are determined on what the family did that day and Johnson’s inspiration. She always includes how much she loves her children, how beautiful the girls are inside and out and memories the family made that day.
"To me, creating those memories is so much more important than anything I can buy them or anything anyone offers them," Johnson said. "Because they can look and say, 'my mom and I did this, my mom and I did that.' "
Recently, the local magazine CEO Magazine is working to raise money or provide gifts for the family this Christmas.
"I think we’ve raised so far somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,500 and we’ve been working on it for about a week, but were hoping to do so much more than that," said Sharon Oliver, the partner/publisher of CEO magazine. "Right now, we were trying to get her through the Christmas holiday."
Johnson, as appreciative as she is for all the support, just wants to spread awareness about the cancer and to remind women to follow their instincts, learn their bodies and always get checked.
To read more about the Johnsons and to donate, visit this website: https://www.gofundme.com/rvachristmastoremember