Crystal SlaughterCrystal Slaughter

Breast Cancer Survivor

"Do things that make you laugh," recommends Crystal Slaughter. "Staying positive is so important."

After her Stage III breast cancer diagnosis in 2004, Crystal found much of the support she needed from her family and faith; her oncologist/ hematologist, Laxmi N. "Dr. Budd" Buddharaju, MD; and breast cancer survivorship programs available through Methodist Estabrook Cancer Center, including "A Time to Heal."

This 12-week holistic program, co-founded by MECC psychologist Stephanie Koraleski, PhD, and recognized by the Lance Armstrong Foundation, helps women regain physical, emotional and spiritual strength after breast cancer. Crystal welcomed the camaraderie, journaling, meditation and opportunities to learn and share. She describes this program, and her experience with the "My Breast Friends" exercise class as life-transforming, especially in empowering her to develop healthier habits. "At first, I said, ‘No way. I never, ever exercise,'" Crystal admits. Soon she found the strength to say, "Yes, I can do this...and more!"