Gail is our first highlighted Change Maker.
You will be moved and inspired by her tremendous strength and courage.
"I was diagnosed with cancer on December 22, 2015, a month after a routine mammogram found a malignant tumor in my left breast. I received the phone call while I was at the grocery store. I immediately left my cart and quickly ran out. My family was devastated by the news.
The worst part was waiting a month to see the surgeon at Ohio State, who was highly recommended.
Then the day came. My husband and I spent the entire day with doctors, radiologists, and chemo specialists. It was then determined that surgery, chemo and radiation would be needed as I am high risk.
My mother had breast cancer as well as three of my cousins. I knew from their experience that if not dealt with, my cancer could spread rapidly.
A cancer diagnosis can make you feel like you have lost control.
At this moment, my head was spinning and I knew life would never be the same. Thankfully, my tumor was very small and stage 1. To me, this was great news and I felt like I could face it.
Although, not ONE day went by without the word cancer imprinted in my thoughts. Thinking about what could be, would be or what was down the pike.
You know those TV commercials discussing cancer? Seeing those made us cry. The thought of losing my hair really upset me.
But when the time came, my girlfriends were there right with me. After the first couple treatments, we all got together to shave off the hair that was left. What a memorable night it was! There was so much love in that room.
This made me realize I was blessed with a terrific support system.
My husband Scott was with me every step of the way, between the trips to Columbus and 11 of my 12 chemo treatments… I couldn’t have been more blessed. He was right by my side, holding my hand and shedding tears with me. My daughter Lindsey, husband Jerry, son Kyle and his fiancé Justine were generous with their support as well. Their lives were thrown into this whirlwind along with me, and their support kept me grounded. In addition, my extended family was right by my side including my mother who has been through breast cancer twice and (praise God) is healthy at the age of 85.
When treatments started, they were not as bad as I imagined them to be. It could be because I NEVER sat alone during treatment. I always had family and friends supporting me. Not a day went by without a card, meal, text or visits, and hugs.
When you're diagnosed with cancer, your priorities change quickly. No more sweating the small stuff. No more worrying about this or that. I realized quickly I needed more time with God.
A special friend gave me a book called Jesus Calling. It has morning and evening reflections. This quickly became a resource of hope and peace for me. I was able to thank the Lord every night for the strength He was giving me during this hard change in my life.
I have become more aware of His presence each day after the diagnosis. I have learned to trust Him to guide me through this journey of life… teaching me to focus on the goodness of each day.
I am here to tell you...
if this is a battle you are fighting, YOU CAN GET THROUGH IT.
There are beautiful men and women out there bravely fighting this battle alongside you.
PUT UP A FIGHT!
Love and treasure your family and friends, and of course live life to the fullest!"
“Instead of trying to predict what tomorrow may bring, remind yourself that I will help you deal with whatever comes." - Jesus Calling
Cancer Survivor / Change Maker