Year of first diagnosis: 2004
Kind of cancers: breast cancer and endometrial carcinoma (2011)
It was mid-afternoon on Friday, January 16, 2004, when the radiologist came to my chair and announced, “There is something on your x-ray and I am almost positive it is cancer.” I could not believe what I heard. Is it definite? It still had to be confirmed and in a few days I received the confirmation. On our way home from the x-ray my husband and I discussed the situation when we heard a still small voice whispering, “You will not walk this journey alone.” Both of us were well aware of the fact that God would accompany us and lead us no matter how deep the valley. We contacted our family, church family, and friends who bore us on the wings of their prayers.
I received much encouragement at Gilda’s Club from other breast cancer survivors. I also took many classes and attended conferences and lectures in order to learn about the disease and be able to question my oncologist intelligently which would help in fighting the disease. I received heavy chemo, lost my hair and had several radiation treatments. My inner strength came from God who traveled with me as we were in the valley. We experienced many beautiful moments and learned to set our priorities in life. It was a life-changing experience.
During this time we were drawn closer to one another as husband and wife but more importantly we were drawn much closer to God. We cried together and prayed together. We shared inner thoughts which previously had seemed insignificant.
When I meet someone who has just been diagnosed with cancer, I share with them the importance of educating oneself about the disease. Then I provide them with a personalized bookmark with Isaiah 41:10-13 which reminds them they are not traveling this journey alone. God will be with them. I also include a poem entitled, “I Refuse to be Discouraged” with the final verse:
I give God thanks in everything,
My eyes are on His face; The battle’s His, the victory mine,
He’ll help me win the race.