Most of you know October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In times past I've donated to co-workers doing the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, or clicked on a blog button like Lori has to support free mammograms, but otherwise I've never given it much thought.
Until last year.
Last year my mother went through her own fight with breast cancer and I was suddenly faced with the realities of what a diagnosis like that can do to a person and family.
Thankfully, my mother is now a breast cancer survivor and still with us today. I've asked her to share a few words with you about her story. I'm very proud of how she fought and thankful to the Lord that she made it through safe and sound.
How to start? I must start out expressing my gratefulness to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for His love and faithfulness to keep His promises.
I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in April of 2010. This came as quite a shock as it must have to many others with the same diagnosis. I had some pain in my breast since Sept. of '09. The pain had gone away and there no lump that I could find. But, I did have a "dimple" on the bottom left side.
I had never heard of a dimple being a sign of cancer. I pretty much ignored it until it was time for me to go for a physical and my doctor saw the dimple and ordered a mammogram. What had hindered me from going in sooner was the lack of insurance and my husband had lost his job in '08 and was now working 30 hrs. a week at less than half his former wages. I had applied to a local place who provide help to low income but this was a long time coming. I finally got help with Medicaid a month or so before I was diagnosed.
By May 20th I was in surgery having a mastectomy on one side. Chemo started on June 21 and radiation on Nov. 30. Wow! What a wild ride. I had so many family and friends in support of me during this time it blew me away. Every person I ran into during all the doctor visits, chemo, nurses, receptionists and such were the kindest people at all times. I believe God put them there for me. Since I had so much down time I thought I would take this time to read the Bible more and pray. God was there for me as He is for all. I know that Jesus was there for me through all the fear, sadness and the "poor me's". He has been my Rock and Strength.
My husband was everything I'd hope he would be during a crisis! He picked up all the slack while keeping up at his job. He cooked, cleaned and bought the groceries. We were able to schedule most of the doctor visits so he could be there with me. We have been married 37 years and our marriage has been tested in all the vows now!
On Feb. 1, 2011 I was announced as "Cancer Free!" I give God all the praise and glory for I know His hand guided us all through this trial of life.
Don't be afraid of cancer. Trust in Jesus and He will be there for you. In the end, we win!
Kathy Garfield, October 8, 2011