Greensboro, NC -- The next time you're feeling a little stressed out, or you have a lot to deal with and you're ready to gripe about it, think about this: A mother of two, diagnosed with five different types of cancer in less than five years. She's a fighter.
You won't hear Pamela Hinchee complain. Instead, she says this is what she's been dealt and she'll deal with it.
Nearly six years ago, Hinchee was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Not long after that, her doctor diagnosed her with uterine cancer, then stomach cancer, Lymphoma and Leukemia.
"When you become a mom, there's no opt out button if you have cancer. My girls still needed me," she said.
Hinchee's daughters helped her stay strong during those four and a half years of fighting.
"My oncologist said, if there are things you want your daughters to know, then you need to start writing some letters," she said. "That was probably the hardest thing that I did. Fighting cancer seemed like a walk in the park compared to what you would tell your child in a letter."
However, Hinchee made a decision, she wasn't going to give up and she wasn't going to let cancer take over.
"I wanted to be around for important days in their lives. And to give up? I just wasn't going to let cancer rob me of that," she said.
Her daughter Gracie was only six months old.
"Until recently, she didn't have any clue what it was like to have a mom who wasn't battling cancer. It was just a way of life for us," said Hinchee.
Her daughter Chloe was three.
"I can remember my oldest, Chloe, lying with me and rubbing my arm when I was fighting uterine cancer and saying, 'Mommy, it's OK. Jesus will take your pain'" she said.
Hinchee didn't let cancer define her, but it did change her.
"I don't sweat the small stuff anymore. To hear my children laugh and giggle and to be goofy, those are the important things. And everything else is just things," she said.
Hinchee said her husband was also there through it all.
"He knew he was getting a scrappy woman when he started. And I just proved that to him five times over," she said.
"I would do this 50 more times if it meant that neither one of my children would know one minute of this disease," said Hinchee.
Hinchee tells others who are fighting the fight not to give cancer more power than it should have.
"Yeah, cancer is a big word, and it's a scary word. But if you give it more power, it will take over. I am living with, not dying of cancer. There is hope," she said.
Hinchee has been without cancer for 11 months, but she won't say she is cancer-free because she knows cancer is in her genetic make-up. The disease runs in her family.
Instead, Hinchee said she wakes up everyday and thanks God she doesn't have to battle cancer today.
Hinchee has also teamed up with a group of friends and started an organization to help other cancer patients. It's called "BLT" or "Battling Life Together".
They're currently selling a cookbook to raise money, so they can apply to be officially recognized as a 501C3 non-profit. Check out their blog - http://battlinglifetogether.blogspot.com/ You can also follow them on Twitter - @bltladies
If you'd like to help, or buy a cookbook, you can send a donation to:
BLT -- Battling Life Together
P.O. Box 487
Colfax, NC 27235