Cancer Does Not Define Me

The past 2 years have been one of refinement, change, and emotional ups and downs. Taking my mother in to live with me after my father’s death has been an adjustment, but one that I strive to express God’s love and servitude through. Then, I was injured and unable to stand up or walk for several months. I went through intense therapy to heal and lead a healthy lifestyle. In that I have dropped 75 pounds and participated in the Pat Tillman 5k, fulfilling a long-time dream! After the race, I was not feeling well and when I went to the restroom there was blood. This entailed a trip to the ER and upon them doing scans they found a mass on my right kidney. I was referred to the urologist who did more invasive testing. Those results, I was diagnosed with kidney cancer. They are words you just hate to hear in any sentence. It causes the body to be numb; it causes the mind to race. In that brief instant, you go through a cam met of thoughts that range from what am I going to do, to how do I tell my family, too is this a death sentence. After you hang up the phone, you sit in silence and try to collect your thoughts and figure out what the next step will be. Then the waiting game starts, waiting for the next call to make that next appointment, weighing again whom do you tell. Who do you need to protect. How do you protect yourself? And so it began my journey to be cancer-free.

 

I won’t say there wasn’t fear because that wouldn’t be true. I won’t say that one of my first thoughts was I’m going to see my father sooner than I thought because that wouldn’t be true. However, I had to collect myself; and so, what does one do. You pull yourself together, put one foot in front of the other and lean on your loving God. You muster your strength to inform those closest to you of the news and make sure to protect who needs to be protected (mom) who may not be ready to hear such news. Then, you continue your day. We have two ways to deal with such news, we can hear it and decide right then life is over and we give up quickly. Or, we can trust in the God we serve and know he has our back and is right there with us. You’ve been praying for a positive outcome and God has heard and answered your prayer as he desires. Though the answer may not be the one you desired it is the correct one.

 

See, for me it was about leaving this at the foot of the cross, it was about not living in fear and God allowed for me to find my peace and comfort in him. I am faithful to God and I am not hopeless. God believes I can handle this and he will see me through. Here’s the thing we never know what God is preparing us for when we make life changes but we can be assured there is a reason. So, this chapter in my book is upon me and I will not lie down and give up.

 

On August 23 2016, I had a successful surgery. My oncologist is wonderful; he was able to remove the kidney in one piece. There was minimal scar tissue, the surgery lasted only two hours and he stated my outcome was the best they could ask for. I was up and walking the next day and home from the hospital in 5 days. All results came back that it remained contained and there were no signs of spreading. This was a temporary victory. Three months later more tests were performed and it was revealed that I had bladder cancer. Since this diagnosis in December of 2016, it has returned 3 times. I have had numerous surgeries and tumors removed. I have gone through BCG treatments that have been unsuccessful. The tumors returned again. After several talks, it was agreed to remove the tumors and do another round of BCG treatment. A scope was performed 1-16-2018 and by the grace of God, the results were NO new findings. Now I begin my maintenance in that I will still have BCG treatment every 6 weeks for three weeks at a time, and a scope every 3 months for 2 years. I am now working to become a motivational speaker and help others on this journey.

 

My email address is EB2spiritspeaks2@gmail.com. I have spoken at several Cancer Killer workshops and shared my testimony at Women’s Day Events. It’s hard to put everything down as far as the journey of life that I have been on. One thing I say is that I have been diagnosed with cancer, not that I have cancer, as cancer does not define me. This is my heart today.