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– Andrea's Story

Andrea’s Story

I was asked to tell my story. It’s been a struggle trying to put it together. Well, here goes. I was doing the monthly exam of my breast and there it was: something I had not felt before.

Fast Forward

*snip, snip* As I watched and heard the scissors cut a piece, it also tried to go up into my arm and stopped.

Fast Forward

I was on my way to a church service when my cell phone rang. It was given a name: “cancer.” As I was listening to the phone call, the spirit of the Lord in his still, small voice spoke and said, “Everything is going to be alright, I got you.” My response to the phone call was “Okay, thank you,” and I continued on to church.

Fast Forward

“Triple-Negative Invasive Ductal Carcinoma”

Fast Forward

I was being told some things I did not want to hear. Many terms were being used; I was numb sometimes. All I heard was Charlie Brown’s teacher, “wah, wah, wah, wah.”

Fast Forward

I just wanted this gone; nothing will have that much power over me. I was given my marching orders and plan of attack. I began to prepare for battle. For support, I only told people that would be of help and encouragement and that would really be there when I needed them. I told my family, two aunts, my pastor, and a few other church family sisters. I did not want to see my hair fall out, so I got my hair cut off and began to wear my caps. I had to look fashionable!

Fast Forward

The battle has begun. It was called chemo. I called it “Fire,” another word for flame, and I just kept thinking about Isaiah, Chapter 43, Verse 2: When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. I went on through.

Fast Forward

I didn’t want to take all the various medicines, only when necessary. I drank plenty of water to stay hydrated, I fed the Fire eggs, omelets, oatmeal, anything that would keep my system moving. There were times when the tears fell and seemed like it was the end. That’s when you really have to fight even more. My spiritual sister encouraged me with the confession and prayer circle.

#1: Thanksgiving Prayer & Worship

#2: Speak to the mountains

#3: Call healing into your mind and body

#4: Pray without ceasing

Every day, I put my hands on my body from the top of my head to the soles of my feet confessing healing.

Fast Forward

I started a new thing after every treatment: I rang the bell. Then, on the day of the last blast, I rang the bell almost off the wall.

Fast Forward

Victory! The cancer is dying, shrinking, and ready to be removed.

Fast Forward

The cancer is being ornery, so I had to fight just a little longer using more Fire, only this time kills whatever is left.

Fast Forward

I rung the bell again, almost off the wall. Victory. Now, there are soldiers, men and women, children, young, old, rich, poor, Black, White, Latino, Hispanic, Asian, on and on. No respect for persons still fighting. And even though our battles are not the same, the one common thing is that we are survivors. We’re not going to give up. We’re going to keep thriving. Being a survivor, I’m learning to live strong through a program I was introduced to. I’m being taught how important it is to take control of my body.

This program is definitely relevant and needs to be a part of treatment plans for people before, during, and after care. LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA is just what it says: it builds, strengthens, and equips you with the tools you need. I’m less stressed. I sleep better. It has encouraged me to continue to live strong, even after the 12 weeks are over. Nothing else matters at this point; Jesus desires that we have a healthy and happy, abundant life. I thank Him for the surgeons, doctors, and my LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA family. I’m starting to tell people I meet to live strong. This is my story, to be continued.

 

Andrea

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