HomeNewsArticle Display

Carry On: a strength worth sharing

Carry On: rocking the bald head

Senior Master Sgt. Amber Robbins, 5th Force Support Squadron superintendent, stands with her family at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, Jan. 23, 2019. Robbins was recently selected to promote to chief master sergeant after facing a year-long battle with breast cancer. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Alyssa M. Akers)

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- She walked confidently, although anyone could see the pain behind her smile.

She spoke passionately about her story, the struggles of having breast cancer and how she still moves on every day.

I first met Senior Master Sgt. Amber Robbins, 5th Force Support Squadron superintendent, at the Annual Women’s Symposium in June 2018, but didn’t feel a connection to her story until the next time we spoke.

She gave an almost 30-minute speech during the breast cancer awareness luncheon in October. There, I not only listened, but became invested into the story she told.

“This past year I have spent most of my time posing as a human pin cushion,” Robbins said during her speech. “I have met with three surgeons, two oncologists, and more than 20 nurses; I have had two surgeries, three Biopsies, three MRIs, three PET/CT Scans, six chemotherapy treatments, 18 hormonal infusions, 28 radiation therapy treatments, 35 blood work appointments. I have been on 10 different medications for treatment, and I have gone through 780 Imodium tablets, 15 bags of Epsom salt, and 208 rolls of toilet paper to prep me for the 3,180 trips I made to the bathroom.”

Hearing the ups and downs made me cry. Her story was not the typical one I’ve heard. If a speech could move me in this way, I was sure the world would be interested in what she had to say.

With my coworker, we reached out to her a few weeks later, interested in getting the ball rolling for sharing her story.

We visited her home, set up three cameras and enough lights to blind someone, but she still held the same level of confidence as the first time we met.

“I had days where I could not muster up enough strength to move out of bed or off the couch, but I still went to work when I could,” said Robbins. “I tried to be a better supervisor and a better role model, not only for my Airmen but for my children, and tried to be a better wife. I did not lose anything with having cancer. If anything, I am better because I had cancer!”

I thought I knew her story back in October, but she still shed more light on her journey. Before I knew it, she had been speaking for over an hour, on-camera, and I was still hurting from what she had to face.

Even through adversity, Robbins managed to care for her family, support her Airmen and get selected for promotion to chief master sergeant.

I learned a lot from just hearing her story, and I’m excited to share that with the world.

Her strength gives me hope.
USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.

Contact Us

To reach the Minot Air Force Base Main Directory, call: Commercial (701) 723-7979 or DSN: 453-7979.

To request Public Affairs support, please fill out an Air Force Form 833 and email to the Minot AFB Public Affairs workflow mailbox. 

Any hyperlinks displayed on this website does not constitute endorsement of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Air Force of non-U.S. Government sites or the information, products, or services contained therein.