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For Everyone Touched By Cancer

She Did Not Lose, She Won.

Written by Lorri Lee on 
15th January, 2022
Updated: 29th January, 2024
Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

I Heard The Keys Jingling As The Doorknob Turned, Then The Door Opened.

My Dad entered through the door as he carried her to the bedroom. I was bewildered, trying to figure out what was going on. He explained, that a few months ago, my Mom was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer and had been going to Gainesville, Florida for her treatments. He told me, “Today was her last day for treatment and surgery. She is cancer free. The doctors removed all of the cancer”. My mouth dropped open with surprise as I watched my Mom, as she regained her strength. My Dad said to me, “Let her get her rest”.

My Mom was first diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer in 2014. She became cancer free in 2016 and was re-diagnosed in 2017 with metastatic breast cancer.  In March of 2018 my mom succumbed to metastatic breast cancer. 

My Mom was an outstanding singer who loved her family, had a passion for fashion, and was an extraordinary cook.  She had a beautiful spirit with an infectious smile.  What I loved the most about Mom, was her laugh.  Seeing and hearing her laugh certainly did my heart some good. 

Cancer Is A Horrendous Disease That Affects Not Only The Patient But Also Their Family. 

It can draw families closer together or can pull some families apart.  Knowing about my mother's disease caused me to have a greater appreciation for my life, love ones and my faith. My faith in God became stronger and relentless; my love for my family increased and I decided not to take anything or anyone for granted. Now, seeing life in a new light, in my Dad I see a fighter, strength for us all; he is our rock.  In my sister, I see resilience, optimism and I admire her unstoppable faith.  As for my mom, I will always remember her relentless spirit and watching her faith increase as she fought until the end. 

In her final months, as she battled the disease, I noticed that she lost a great amount of weight and her laughter began to fade.  It was scary to see.  Judging by her condition, I assumed that it was too painful for her to laugh. So, when she saw or heard something, that she found humorous, she would just smile. 

On February 4, 2018, Super Bowl Sunday, we took Mom to the hospital. 

She was to taken to UF Shands in Gainesville, Florida, since all of her doctors were there.   I thought that she was having issues with her medication, but I received the most unexpected, devastating news.  We were told that there was a tumor in her esophagus, but I knew that it was something more.  The next day, Dad gave me and my sister the news that the cancer had returned at an aggressive Stage 4.  I couldn’t believe it!  That moment felt so unreal.  On the following day, I drove to Gainesville, Florida to visit her.  When I entered her room in ICU, I did not know what to expect.  What I saw brought me to tears.  My Mom was heavily sedated and connected to a ventilator.  Although, she was heavily sedated, she knew that I was there, with a nod of her head or rubbing my hand with her finger.  I felt like I stepped into the Twilight Zone. 

My Dad was in tears.  He shook his head in disbelief and kept saying,

This is happening too soon; too fast.  She wanted to tell you girls, but she knew that she would beat this

She Did Not Lose, She Won.

The Doctors Entered In The Room And Gave Me The Most Overwhelming News.   

“Your mother has an aggressive form of cancer, metastatic cancer, and it is spreading throughout her body. We will do everything that we can to keep her comfortable”.  The next few weeks, was a test and trial in our faith, but we kept praying, stayed hopeful and optimistic for things to change for the better. We prayed and believed for a miracle.

When going through a hopeless situation, such as a loved one or friend having cancer, you have to find a healthy outlet or support system to help pull you through the difficult time.  During this time, I found myself forming that support system through prayer and meditation, friendships, and exercising.  One of my friends invited me to attend a Zumba class and I loved it!  From that point, I made a conscious decision to live a healthy life, which continues on today.

On March 6, I came home from work and I saw my dad sitting in the dimly lit family room.  I was surprised to see him sitting there, I immediately asked what’s going on, “Where’s Mom?”  He asked me to sit down and tried calling my sister.  He wanted to tell us the life-changing news at the same time.  At that moment, he was not able to reach her, but was able to reach her later.  He said these words, “You know your momma love you girls and is very proud of you.  Your Mom passed away tonight at 11 pm.”  The sound of uncontrollable cries and tears filled the room.

 Here are three important keys that I want you to remember. 

As I Wrote This Article, I Wanted To Encourage You. 

Here are three important keys that I want you to remember. 

First, don’t give up. Do not lose hope or your faith.  The situation that you or your love one is facing may look bleak but anything is possible.  Keep hope and your faith strong. 

Secondly, surround yourself with positivity.  Keep positive energy and people around you.  Use the positive energy around you as fuel to continue the fight.  I found that identifying a support system such as counseling, healthy friendships, and healthy outlets (i.e. prayer and meditation, exercising, playing an instrument or singing) will help get your mind focused and you will recalibrate. 

Third and lastly, know that you are a winner.  Although we prayed and believed for a miracle for Mom, we did not lose our faith in God.  We still believe.  She did not lose her fight.  She won.

Further Reading

I Am A Male Breast Cancer Survivor And This Is My Story

How to Respond To a Friend With Breast Cancer

Thoughtful Breast Cancer Gifts And Care Packages

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