A Survivor’s Story - Marolyn
Q: LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY WITH BREAST CANCER.
“I was 38 years old with a two-year old daughter, 19-year-old stepson, and a husband of 9 years when I began to experience pain and soreness in my right breast. As I examined my breast, I noticed a lump. Immediately, I said ‘this is not normal.’ I have fibrocystic breasts, but nothing with pain like this
I scheduled an appointment with my OBGYN for an examination. He agreed about my lumpy breast but was concerned with the pain and where the lump had formed. He referred me to a specialist who said the same thing about my lumpy breast but wanted to be sure. He scheduled a diagnostic mammogram. The mammogram came back NORMAL!
A week later, I was still in pain. How many of you know God will use anything to get your attention? I thank God for the pain. So, I go back to my specialist. He re-examines me and decides to do a biopsy that day. It was extremely painful. I remember the tears running down my face. A few days later, the specialist called me and said, “Mrs. Marshall, I am so glad you knew your body. Some women may have ignored the pain.” My biopsy came back malignant!
I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer on November 16, 2007. Treatment included chemo, radiation, and rehabilitation for my right arm. No maintenance drug to take. I had the BRCA genetic testing to see if I had BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations. This was not just about me— I had my daughter to think about as well as my three sisters, one being my identical twin. Both tests were negative! Yet another blessing!
Today, my daughter is 16 years old, my stepson is 32, and I have now been married 22 years. I thank God He allowed me to live and continue being a mother to my children and a wife to my husband.”
Q: WHAT KIND OF FEELINGS OR EMOTIONS DID YOU EXPERIENCE WHEN YOU WERE FIRST DIAGNOSED?
A: “My first thought was ‘God please allow me to live and raise my daughter.’ She was 2 years old. My second thought was shock. It did not seem real. I never really felt angry— scared, yes—but never angry. You go through many different emotions, but I chose to trust God and remain as positive as I could. I knew He would help me through the journey.”
Q: WHO OR WHAT MADE THE MOST IMPACT IN HELPING TO NAVIGATE SUCH A DIFFICULT EXPERIENCE?
A: “I prayed and meditated on God’s promises daily, especially His promises on healing. They saved my life! Also, my husband, family and friends were great supporters. I could not have completed my journey without them. I still remember my daughter kissing my bald head when she was 2 years old.”
Q: WHAT MESSAGE WOULD YOU LIKE TO PROVIDE TO WOMEN READING THIS TODAY?
A: “My message to women reading my story— please do your Self Breast Examinations monthly. Do them around the same time each month so you can know your body. Trust when something seems wrong and schedule an appointment with your doctor. EARLY DETECTION SAVE LIVES. I was stage one, but had I not trusted my intuition, it could have been worse. Please do not hesitate to take care of you.
Also, for the ladies who are fighting this beast today. Hold on, you are not alone. Trust God or your higher power. He will guide you through. Allow your friends and family to help you. Please stay positive and avoid anyone who is negative. Do not accept someone else’s experience for your experience. Your journey is your journey and you can choose how that will be. We often go through trials to make us stronger, build character, and prepare us for the next chapter in life. I know it can be hard but strive to find something positive in each day. Encourage and help others to keep your mind off your struggles. God did not promise sunshine always, but He did promise to never leave us alone.
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