Letter: As a breast cancer survivor/thriver of 16 years, God has given me the gift of time
- Thursday, 05 April 2012
- Written by James Richardson
When I found out I had cancer, I was only 49-years-young (now 66-years-young!). The possible cancer was discovered during a routine mammogram. The young, male technician told me to come back in three months for a retake. It took me four months to get back, and they barely saw a tiny point. I believe it was found in God’s own time, not mine.
Through biopsy, surgery, chemo, radiation – and following the removal of 18 lymph nodes (no cancer in the lymph nodes) – I’m still thriving. The lumpectomy and treatments worked with prayers.
My family and church family support, along with the wonderful doctors, nurses, and cancer center professionals, helped me get through it all.
The word “thriving” was shared with me by my baby sister who is now a nurse practitioner. She heard it through a lady speaking on TV. I truly love the word “thriving” with “surviving”, and I hope she does not mind me sharing.
Working in retail ladies clothing for almost 10 years now has been such a blessing. It has allowed me to reach out to others – to share with and encourage them.
God has allowed me the chance to love and hold all 10 of my grandchildren, given to me by my three children. Back then, there were two "chosen" grandsons and one birth grandson. These three boys always prayed for their granny. The youngest one only knew to pray that his granny got well so she would never have to ride in a wheelchair again.
My first-born granddaughter says: “Granny, wherever you are, I am with you." To this day, she still writes that down on notes for me at Christmas. Through the mouth and eyes of our children and grandchildren, we are truly blessed!
My baby sister is expecting her first grandchild, and we were recently at the baby shower celebration. My other two sisters have grandchildren, and my first-born sister has great-grandchildren. We are four girls who have remained close all these years. We always try to be there to support each other in times of need or celebration.
I was the first one to attend college and the first to have cancer – two extremely different life-changing events. Through it all, Psalms 46:10 – “Be still and know that I am God” – has kept me strong. God is Good!
Last year, my husband, my daughter and her family, and my two sons celebrated life with me at the Relay For Life in Travelers Rest. Even my sisters came from Macon, Georgia, and walked with us, along with several sister-friends. It was the first time to get so many of our whole family together for Relay.
We encourage you to join us at this year's Relay For Life being held at the former T.R. High School on Friday, April 20, 7:00 p.m. until Saturday morning at 7:00 a.m. Make it your celebration of life with us. We’ll be walking with the Granny’s Gang team. After all, I am a granny, too!
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