- Invasive ductal carcinoma - Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)
- Infiltrating (invasive)
- Lobular carcinoma - Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
Life is filled with unexpected detours that take us to momentous highs and devastating lows. These by-passes come without warning, disrupting finances, relationships even health. “Lord why me?”
It was late April, a dear friend was laying heavy on my mind. I’ve known Felita since birth. Born two days apart, lived on the same street, only eight houses separated us. We grew up attending the same church and schools. She was the younger sister I never had.
There was no apparent reason Felita was on my mind, I just called. I received the usual warm and hearty greeting, always joyous and genially happy, “what’s going Tigner Rand.” During our catch up, in a matter-of-fact type a way, she dropped the “big C - word” – Breast Cancer. The statement took me by surprise. My heart sank and eyes began to swell. The day was warm and picturesque yet a cold chill overwhelmed me. Thoughts of disbelief ran through my mind. “Not Felita, how could this be?”
How deep is your faith? God’s word reminds us of his willingness to be with us – just call his name. Today’s scripture bares witness to how a Centurion soldier who knew nothing of Jesus but from his servant. The servant’s faith was so deep the soldier had to find Jesus so he could heal him.
My friend’s journey began November, 2012 after an annual mammogram when doctors asked her to come back. “Because of the tissue in my breast it was not unusual for a second visit” stated Felita.
Thinking nothing of it, a second procedure was performed. This time, unlike any other, the radiologist wanted to meet again. “We see something that looks unusual.” A follow up appointment reveled a biopsy was required.
With Thanksgiving looming and the family planning for travel, Felita suggested, “Let’s schedule biopsy after the holidays.” An unpredicted, “No we are not waiting I will schedule you for next week,” confirmed something was wrong, followed by numbing words no patient want to hear - “You have cancer.”
Breast Cancer affects men and women
Breast Cancer has no enemies. It roams the earth seeking men and women whom it may devour. Unexpected cancer (circumstances) in life can create disbelief and denial. “This must be wrong.” “How did this happen to me?” Rationalization with self overtakes the mind trying to make sense of a bad situation. “How could this be?”
There are various types of Breast Cancer
Felita had Estrogen positive which feeds off estrogen found in the body. Tamoxifn combats estrogen build up reducing the source which could cause breast cancer to return.
In the middle of a storm
Experiencing cancer can be distressing, even harder without the support of family and faith in God. In a storm God is often questioned – “why did this happen to me?” Felita was no different. But her fear was eased from prayer, and support from family and friends.
“This ordeal made my relationship with God closer, without God’s strength where would I be?” “It was only through God that I made it through,” confessed Felita.
Surgery went has scheduled and seven millimeters of tumor extracted. After surgery came radiation and the Oncotype DX test. Oncotype DX diagnoses the probability of cancer returning. It also determines if chemotherapy is needed. Doctors use a scale from 0-100 to assess test results. Felita’s came back 26. “In my mind 26 was very low.” But the doctors saw it as a seventy-four percent chance cancer could return.
Fear of chemo warranted a second, third, and fourth opinion from local oncologist as well as a close doctor friend back home in
where she and her colleagues suggested chemotherapy. Texas
Chemotherapy is known to wreak havoc to many. Despite the fact chemotherapy was recommended, Felita did not want the treatment. The main reason was fear of sickness, nausea and of course loosing the hair.
Crazy with no hair
Appearance and image weighed heavy mentally. Felita did not want to look bad. There was a job, husband, and two boys to take care of. “Lord, I don’t want to walk around looking crazy with no hair.” Faith was put to the test. Affirmations and prayer prevailed. God spoke and comforted Felita… “Go ahead take chemotherapy,” the voice within spoke.
Chemotherapy – no side effects
Loss of appetite, nausea and sickness are common side effects from chemotherapy and occur within four days after first treatment. Patients speak of waking up horrified, finding hair on the pillow or combing out large patches.
Following four rounds of Chemotherapy God’s grace and mercy covered Felita. Not once had she felt sick, if anything an increased appetite. “Thank you God for getting me through.”
By Round three the inevitable came – hair loss. In preparation of the metamorphoses Felita wore a wig cap. When it came time to remove the cap, also came the hair – literally. Prayer brought peace and acceptance of the one thing that was feared, it eased the pain of watching hair slowly fall out. “I didn’t have to cry about it, because I knew it would happen.”
After the storm
Each of us are vessels designed to serve and witness others. It is our job to speak on God’s behalf and help those in need. Recently, Felita’s first cousin was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Recognizing her cousin’s pain, Felita witnessed – as a survivor. The conversations gave strength for the cousin to cope.
In life, no matter how perplexing a situation; find a way to be a blessing to others. Do not let situations control you. Persevere through the storm and be in control of your situation through God.
Our task as Christians is to always be prepared to speak words of encouragement, uplift others, and console those in need. There is no testimony with out a test.
I am a survivor
I asked what did the doctors say about her cancer? The journey is not over but in retrospect Breast Cancer has made Felita more compassionate. Though the cancer has been removed and in remission “I will never be cancer free,” but she will have a message to spread and encourage others.
Never being cancer free are not words of assurance but as a child of God Felita’s belief is “Cancer is never coming back because God made sure the doctor took it all and I am done, I am claiming cancer free.”
Cancer can be a deadly disease. Many of your children have fell victim to its debilitating power. I speak with authority that your Holy Spirit will touch and heal your children who are suffering from cancer and other illness. By your word and the strips of Jesus Christ I claim healing and victory. Cover each family give them strength and let them know that you will never leave or forsake them even through their storms. This I pray in your son Jesus the Christ name. Amen
For more information about Breast Cancer awareness:
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Submitted by: Guest Writer
It is ME, MY VOICE, MY THOUGHTS, MY PERCEPTIONS, MY SELF-DECEPTIONS, MY SELF-ACCEPTANCE OR LACK THERE OF that preaches LIFE or DEATH to me.
It is when I put CONDITIONS on the WORD OF GOD or on the WORDS of HOPE and TRANSFORMATION that are given to me by others that I impose LIMITATIONS on the POWER OF GOD working in my life.
“SAY TO THEM, AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD I WILL DO TO THEM THE VERY THINGS THAT I HEARD THEM SAY…” (Numbers 14:28)
I CAN’T, BUT, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE, IT MIGHT WORK FOR THEM: All these words minister negativity to my spirit. They negate that:
“I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST THAT STRENGTHENS ME…” (Philippians 4:13)
“THAT NOTHING CAN SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD…” (Romans 8:38)
“IN CHRIST JESUS, I AM A NEW CREATURE OLD THINGS HAVE PAST AWAY; BEHOLD, ALL THINGS ARE NEW…” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
It is that which I say to myself that opens up the vast and unparalleled possibilities and blessing that God has for my life.
At this very moment, I speak life to myself.
• I ask YOU GOD to increase my faith that I might see past my limitations
• I ask YOU GOD to give me higher thoughts and higher aspiration for my life
• I ask YOU GOD that when I am feeling rejected and unworthy trapped off by self-doubt, self-loathing, and low self-worth that you dispatch the Holly Spirit to witness to heart that there is nothing wrong with me.
• I ask YOU GOD to take me to another level of self-acceptance
The best part of my life is yet to come….GOD SAID IT:
• I BELIEVE IT
• I RECEIVE IT
• I WILL STAND ON IT
• I WILL LIVE BY IT
• THAT SETTLES IT
TODAY I AM SPEAKING LIFE TO MYSELF…..AMEN