A survivor’s story - Karen Williams
By Karen Williams
My life as I had known it changed on December 2012. We have all heard, seen, or interacted with someone who has/had cancer. Often times, however, do we ever think ‘that could be me’.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Like so many people when I first heard the word cancer I was speechless and in shock. The following days after my diagnosis were filled with panic and sleepless nights.
After receiving devastating news such as breast cancer, it is easy to think ‘my life is over’. I went days thinking, praying, and discussing all my options with my husband.
I eventually decided to proceed with a double mastectomy. I chose this option because I did not want to have a single mastectomy for fear of it reoccurring. The procedure took place on January 30, 2013.
The best weapon for going through a situation, where fear of the unknown and uncertainty is present, is love and support from family, friends, faith, and prayer. During this time I leaned on the Bible verse from Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not to our own understanding, In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy path.”
Battling cancer can surface a plethora of thoughts, feelings, and emotions. I’m going to be honest. I had good days and not so good days. As with any situation or scenario, my process had positive and negative aspects.
Treatment is an important aspect in anyone’s battle with cancer. That aspect will vary and be different with each cancer patient. One of the most difficult aspects of the experience is the strain it puts on your mind and body. The body is resilient but surgery, reconstruction, and chemotherapy can really wear on the body.
I can remember sitting in my oncologist’s office with my husband, Elve. We were discussing treatment options and chemotherapy. Dr. James Smith informed me that I would need six months of chemo. I remember asking him what would happen if I did not move forward with chemo to which he advised there is a chance the cancer could return.
So, with guidance from my oncologist and his staff, along with support from my family and friends I successfully battled and beat cancer. It was not easy, but my faith left me unshaken.
I have been cancer free for five years. I sincerely hope that my story can be a beacon of love, light, and hope to anyone battling cancer.