I grew up in the sixties and seventies when a root beer float (or ‘black cow’ as we call it here in the South), a red vinyl bar stool, and Johnny Angel crooning from the jukebox at the local drug store, were as close to heaven as one could get. It was an innocent childhood filled with sleepovers under the stars, unlocked doors, and catching lightening bugs in Mason Jars. It did not prepare me for the cold reality ahead.
Right after college I married and moved out to California where my husband was a part of the first graduating class for the brand new Top Gun program. We were crazy about each other. However, a series of unexpected and uncontrollable events soon sent our relationship spiraling out of control. Fearing for my life, I left California and the man I so desperately loved behind. I returned from California a different woman. Broken. A ghost of my former self. With shaky steps, I slowly became stronger. Gradually, I began to reclaim my life.
Before long I was re-married, had two children, and moved to Denver, Colorado where my husband Gene, was based with United Airlines. Just when my life couldn’t get any happier, I was blind-sided by a diagnosis of breast cancer. No family history, no indicators. I was thirty-five at the time and had two young children, ages three and seven. Once again my faith was rocked to the core. But this time I held onto God’s promises. The Bible became my constant companion. I beat cancer not once, but twice – when almost nine-and-a-half years later the cancer metastasized to my lungs. I had been only six months away from being declared cancer free. But by the grace of God, I am here to tell my story.
It has been twenty-six years now since my initial diagnosis and the mastectomy and sixteen years since it metastasized and the grueling lobectomy. The road has not been easy. For years, cancer was the first thing I thought about when I woke up in the morning, and the last thing I thought about before I went to bed.
But I am here to assure you that it does get better. I believe that the Lord wants nothing more than for you to be healed and to prosper. I want to share my message with other women who may find themselves in similar situations. Maybe their faith has been shattered and they can’t see a way out. I want to let them know that there is always hope despite the doctor’s diagnosis. I believe that God is the great physician, and by the stripes of Jesus Christ, I have been healed.