Mona Self, Pearl City, HI

Mona Self may live in paradise, but she can only dream of enjoying it.

In 2008, Mona was diagnosed with breast cancer.  “I told my husband and daughters that I didn’t want anyone else in the family to know.  They all thought I was going to work that weekend.”

Mona’s selflessness was triggered by her desire to get her Mom, who had also been diagnosed with cancer, well and out of the hospital.  “Before my Mom had colon cancer, I watched her go through chemotherapy for breast cancer.  I knew that if she could do it, that there wasn’t anything that I couldn’t do,” she says.

For Mona, it wasn’t the chemotherapy itself that was hard to deal with, but the after effects.  Mona suffers from lymphedema, a side effect of having 21 of her lymph nodes removed from under her arm.  Lymphedema has drastically changed Mona’s life.  However, she has received a compression glove and sleeve from the American Cancer Society, allowing her to make the necessary changes in her life.  “It’s something I really appreciate because if I go out in the sun, I have to stay covered or my arm will start to swell,” she says.

Despite having to readjust her lifestyle due to the after effects of her chemotherapy, Mona isn’t going to let anything stand in her way of enjoying life in paradise.