They Made It
Breast cancer survivors open up on what brought them through.
Although the incidence of breast cancer in African-American women is slightly lower than among white women, black women have a higher mortality rate. But many make it through, and some courageous women agreed to share their experiences.
Dr. Beverly Mathis
When I am asked the question, “How did you survive your breast cancer experience?” — mind, body, and soul — my answer lies within this thought: Acceptance of the fact of what comes your way, and knowing that God is with you always. I am the woman who made sure that I had yearly mammograms. I am the person who exercised daily. I am that person who watched their diet, didn’t smoke or drink. Yet, it happened to me. So, “Why me?” It did not take long for me to consciously realize that it was nothing that I had done that placed me above the rest. So, “Why not me?” Being embraced with a loving, caring family. Plus, friends that are truly known as an extended family, were all blessings that surrounded me.
I continued each day to live life to its fullest, by staying focused on my journey through education. I was a first grade school teacher who loved life and lived in every moment. My wonderful first-graders, parents, and school community cuddled me by supporting me with prayer and physical help within the classroom. I had angels — my Second Baptist Church family — that encouraged me daily to keep moving forward. I had two beautiful little girls, Tya and Ashley Rae, who I had asked God to please allow me to raise them and see each of them graduate from high school. He granted me the favor. I not only saw them graduate from high school, I sat with tears of gratitude through their college and graduate school graduations! (Psalms 37:4). Daily prayers of thanksgiving and working day-by-day in my “purpose” had continued to keep me strong. I am standing with the same purpose that stood 27 years ago. I am standing with the same knowledge that, God is — as I did 27 years ago. I am standing knowing that just as I did 27 years ago. I am not alone. As stated within the song: “I am better, stronger, wiser” than I was 27 years ago. Knowing this, “I must work the works of Him that sent me; the night cometh when no man can work,” (John 9:4). To each person; whether man or woman, please have your regular medical check-ups and always focus with an attitude of gratitude and love of everyone.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and I told God it was his fight not mine. I gave it to God. I went through the process and completed my radiation on September 6. The doctors tell me I am currently cancer free.
I would tell other women who are dealing with breast cancer to do what their doctors advise, and put it in God’s hands. You will be fine and know you cannot go through it alone. You cannot have a negative attitude. Always keep a positive mind.
I have been a breast cancer survivor for a year and four months. I survived the chemotherapy by the grace of God. Having the belief in God brought me out of it. When I was diagnosed, I was in a place in my life where I thought about giving up. I was at stage three breast cancer and it devastated me.
God got me through it — all of it. I had to have the faith because I was trying to give up, but friends and family prayed with me. They told me to not give up because God doesn’t want me to. This is encouragement and support is why I am here today.
My advice to anyone who has breast cancer is to never give up. I know the time will be hard and long, but never give up. It’s worth fighting for.