Chemo Kills Cancer, not your Soul
I was diagnosed with Stage IIB breast cancer at the age of 35. I had never had a mammogram before the day I was diagnosed and I did not have a strong family history. I discovered a lump in September of 2020 and I started chemotherapy on October 23, 2020. I will never forget the first time I heard the word CANCER on October 5th. It was like I was in someone else's nightmare. I barely had time to process it as I was hurried through blood tests and scans on a fast track towards treatment.
I wish I could say that the nightmare ended once treatment began but it did not. Chemo is meant to kill cancer. Unfortunatley, cancer is made up of living cells within your body. This means that while your chemo is killing your cancer, it is also killing other living cells that you need and want in your body. During my first treatment I remember watching the red liquid of Adriamycin coming down the tube and into the port in my chest. I just new something that was so red had to be bad for me. "The red devil," is what people call it. It gets its name from how it makes you feel. It burns your chest and your belly. It makes you nauseas, it make your hair fall out, and destroys your immune system. I mentioned how terrifying the red liquid was to a nerby nurse and she told me a story about an older patient who had decided to call it "The Blood of Jesus" instead of "The Red Devil." This nurse had no idea that what she had just said would completley change how I viewed my treatments from here on out. This Adriamycin wasn't here to take my Soul as the devil would, it was here to save me and wash me free of this disease like "The blood of Jesus" would!!!
After my first treatment, chemo continued to kill my cancer and a whole lot of other healthy cells as well. I lost my hair, I lost weight and sometimes I lost whole days where I didn't even have the energy to shower or leave my bed. As my body looked like it was in a losing battle, my soul was being filled with more love and delight than I had ever experienced. Seeing the way that God had been preparing my family for this situation had me in true awe of his great plan and neverending mercies. Ten years ago, God brought us to this amazing community and he began placing the people we would need into our lives. They came from every direction and for so many different reasons, but when it mattered, they were all there ready to play their important part in my care or in the care of my frightened family.
In our shoes is way to build apon this network of help that cancer patients need. As their physical bodies are being put to the test, places like the Loran Smith Center for Cancer Support are a critical component in the care of those who have been diagnosed with cancer. Treating cancer isn't just about oncologists and surgeons. It is also about emotional support, community, knowledge and whole body wellness.
I am here to tell you that cancer doesn't care how young you are, how healthy you eat, how smart you are or how many young children you have. Being aware of the risk of breast cancer and being in touch with my own body saved my life. My breast cancer was aggressive and if I had waited until I was 40 for a mammogram, I would be telling a much different story. The two most important wasy to protect ourselves is through self breast exams and mammograms. Please feed your soul with God's perfect love and check your breasts each month.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
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