I Will Always Have Hope
How a surprise stage 2 breast cancer diagnosis strengthened a woman’s beliefs and outlook on life.
My journey started with an unexpected phone call that eventually led to a stage 2 breast cancer diagnosis.
Here’s my story.
My husband and I had just moved back to my home state of Maine to be near our family, including our grandkids and my mother.
In September of 2019, I had a mammogram, like I am diligent to do every year.
I received a letter a few weeks later stating that everything looked fine.
But then in March of 2020, a radiologist called me. “I know this sounds weird, but your file came across my desk. I want you to come in for another mammogram.”
I was confused because they had said everything was clear.
This happened in the beginning of the pandemic, yet they immediately ushered me in for another mammogram, which led to an ultrasound and biopsy.
April Fool’s Day phone call
I remember getting the follow up phone call. I was sitting in a van in a parking lot—I had taken a job driving school busses and transporting meals—and I was sitting there waiting with a good friend named Bethany.
She held my hand as my primary doctor shared the news: I had stage 2 breast cancer.
Bethany broke down and cried; meanwhile, I felt numb and in shock.
Ironically, this happened on the first day of April—this was not a good April Fool’s Day joke for me.
A series of additional tests revealed even worse news: the cancer may have spread to my spine.
I was devastated and thought my life was over.
Please God, take this from me, I prayed as I drove in my car. I will be your warrior and face breast cancer, but please take this death sentence from me.
About three minutes later, my phone rang. It was my oncologist. “I examined your CT Scan with five other doctors, and the spot on your spine is not cancer.”
Now crying with joy, I thanked my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
How I found faith
I started a relationship with God more than 30 years ago as a result of my mom’s influence.
She has always been so strong and her outlook remains positive, even after being diagnosed with lung cancer and facing lupus.
One day I prayed and surrendered my life to God—and asked for faith like my mom’s. I experienced such a feeling of love from my head to my toes. And now years later, my faith has never wavered, even facing my own cancer diagnosis.
How I found hope, strength and peace
I find my hope through my relationship with Jesus. I know that he will carry me through any difficulty I face. I’ve seen him do miracles before and answer so many prayers.
No matter what I go through, I will always have hope. Like Psalm 71:14 says, “As for me, I will always have hope. I will praise him more and more.”
The love God has for me gives me that hope and I want everyone to know how much I love the Lord. So, no matter what I go through, that love will never waiver.
Besides my faith, the love of my husband, Rolland, along with our family and friends has also helped carry me the rest of the way.
One day, when I was in the thick of chemo, my grandson came to visit me and his head was shaved.
“What did you do?” I asked him.
“I did it for you,” he said. “I didn’t want you to be the only one with your head shaved.”
I just lost it. It made me feel so special to know that God has put these people in my life—and that they love me so much.
Help for others
This journey has made me stronger emotionally, and it has helped me learn to not sweat the small stuff.
It has also made me want to share my story with others.
I am an advocate for mammograms and early detection. Not just for breast cancer, but any cancer.
I also want people to know that they are not alone. You can put your trust and hope in the Lord and He will give you peace, like he has for me.
A few more unexpected turns
What started out as stage 2 breast cancer became a little more complicated.
After going through chemo, I also underwent a few surgeries, and later radiation. During that time, my doctor noticed a spot on my thyroid during a scan. She said she wasn’t concerned, because nodules are common but wanted to check it out.
Well, further investigation revealed cancer.
I just prayed, God, you brought me through all of this, I can handle one more.
I thought of the verse, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13 ESV).”
I recently had surgery on my thyroid, and I pray this will be the end of my cancer. I am blessed to have people praying for me from Florida to Maine, including people I don’t even know.
No matter what happens, now or in the future, I am at peace with the outcome.
I will always have hope.
If you would like to discover how you can find hope on your journey, check out the Pathway to Hope, an email series about finding hope in the midst of cancer.
For help with finding spiritual hope, read Knowing God Personally.