Constance's story: You can't control cancer but you can control your attitude

Phenix City, Alabama residentAugust 22, 2011 

When you get breast cancer, you join a very special club. It is not a club that anyone wants to join but once you are a member you consider it an honor and a blessing.

I discovered a lump in my breast in March 31, 2009. I immediately contacted my doctor and was able to get an appointment the next day. Two days later I had a mammogram with an ultrasound. Further testing was suggested and by the end of the following week I had undergone a bilateral sonogram and biopsy.

On April 15, 2009, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Hearing that I had breast cancer was something that I never imagined that I would ever have to hear. My doctor explained that we had caught it early and that it was very treatable. My first thought, after the tears was, how could this be happening? I took care of myself, I did regular self breast exams, I went to my ob/gyn for regular check-ups, and I had even had a clear mammogram in August of 2008. Besides I had a 3-year-old daughter that I had to take care of. I could not possibly be sick. Deep down I knew that none of those things mattered because breast cancer was now a part of my life.

Telling my family and friends was by far the second hardest thing I had ever experienced in my life. The next few months were filled with tests, scans, surgeries and doctors' appointments. In June of 2009, I was officially diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma, stage 2 with no lymph node infection. I was told that because it was less than one tenth of a centimeter larger than a stage 1 diagnosis, we would err on the side of caution in planning a course of treatment.

Over 18 weeks, I completed six chemotherapy treatments followed by 33 rounds of radiation. Chemotherapy was hard. Regardless of how upbeat and positive you are going in, it is hard on you both mentally and physically. It is during those times that I found myself leaning more strongly on my Faith, knowing that I was in God’s hands and that all of the things that I was experiencing were things that He had laid in my path. People have said that they can’t believe that I went through breast cancer treatment because I never seemed to be sick and I was always smiling.

I chose to accept my diagnosis in a positive way because I have great faith and trust in God. My spirit would not allow me to just let cancer become an overwhelming factor in my life. I continued to live my life as I had always done. God, my prayer warriors, moral support, loving friends and family have helped me every step of the way. God had brought me to this point in my life and whatever the outcome, I trusted God to take care of me. I did not pray to be healed because in Isaiah 53:5 it says: “Because He was wounded for our transgressions, He was wounded for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with His stripes we are healed.” I prayed for the strength to handle the outcome with dignity and with His peace.

I would like to share that cancer is not something you can control, but you can control how you handle it. If you choose to let it get you down, it will do just that. If you choose to go through the journey and learn something from it, then it will have meaning, I’m not going anywhere until God is ready, so statistics don’t mean anything to me. Life is good and I am blessed beyond words! I can't say that I would want to go through this again but I know that, if I have to, I CAN!

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