As a little girl, whenever I would see the rays of the sun filtering through the clouds, I would imagine that God was communicating with me. Little did I know then, this image would come into play years later.
Fast forward to April 2005, Good Friday. I was looking forward to the long Easter weekend and spending time with my husband, George. While getting dressed, I noticed that the contour of my left breast looked slightly different. That prompted me to start feeling around, and that’s when I discovered a lump. Since my yearly physical happened to be scheduled for the following Monday, I decided I would wait until then to talk to my doctor. My holiday weekend turned into one of worry and apprehension. On Easter Sunday, while my husband and I were waiting in line at the Starbucks drive-through, I noticed the sun peeking out from behind a group of clouds, its rays forming a beautiful fan. I thought about God and wondered if it was some sort of sign. At the time, I did not point it out to my husband, and we decided to go for a ride. After about an hour, my husband stopped the truck and asked me if I had noticed the sun and cloud display while we were at Starbucks. That’s when I knew God was trying to give me what I call “positive reinforcement.” I knew I would get through whatever was ahead.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer (stage 2 invasive ductal carcinoma) and underwent a mastectomy. I started chemotherapy the Friday before Memorial Day, and had my last treatment the Friday before Labor Day.
I also found positive reinforcement through my colleagues at work. My workspace was decorated with a pink paper chain; each link that was removed meant one step closer to the end of treatment. If I had to take a few days off, I would come back to work to find cards, small gifts, hugs and encouragement.
As a six-year survivor, my advice is to pray and have faith in your recovery; find ways to stay positive. Attitude really is everything!