Our Stories

Darla's Story:

    My cancer journey started in May 2007 when I went for a routine physical.  I had been extremely tired for several months and thought that I needed some vitamins. Within a few months following this initial appointment, some tests, and my first of five surgeries, I found that I had a very rare type of breast cancer in August 2007.  My doctor's told me that they did not have a cure for this type of cancer, and chemotherapy was not even an option. They also informed me that they only found five other cases in the U. S. with the same type of cancer as mine.

    By October 2007, I had undergone a total of three surgeries.  During the third surgery, I received a mastectomy on left side and several lymph nodes were removed from under my arm.  As a result of this surgery, I contacted a staff infection. The doctors did not give me much hope.  They told me that if they did not get all the cancer, I had between two weeks to two years to live.  In January 2008, I began my  reconstructive surgery.

    In March 2008, I began radiation treatments.  By the end of April 2008, I had received twenty-eight treatments.  In August 2008, I received my last surgery.  Two months later, I had an MRI, which came back not clear.  In November, they  ran a second MRI.  It came back cancer free!  One year later in October 2009, the second MRI came back cancer free!  According to my doctors, I will continue to have follow-up MRIs every October for many years to ensure I am cancer free.

    During my cancer journey, the Lord showed me many things and gave me opportunities to meet and minister to many people along the way.  I know He walked with me through my journey and that He continues to walk with me.  There are many things I could share regarding the people I came in contact with and the friendships that were formed as a result of my experience with cancer.  I know the Lord brought these people in my life so that we would encourage and uplift each other during our journey.

    I also believe the Lord wants me to help form a Christian cancer support group so that others who are walking down a similar cancer journey might be  encouraged. You are not alone, and I do understand because I have been there and heard those same words, "You have cancer."  In our support group, we want to listen to your story and offer encouragement and prayer to support you on your journey.  We have  hope because of Jesus.


Dianna's Story:

    In January 2010, I was in disbelief as I heard my doctor's words, "You have papillary carcinoma."  I had been under doctor's care for hypothyroidism for about eight years.  This diagnosis was first made after my primary care physician discovered a lump on my neck and ran three different tests. After moving to California, I was referred to an endocrinologist when my thyroid levels began to become unstable.  In January 2010, my endocrinologist ordered a biopsy after an ultra sound confirmed the nodule was growing.  I was told that ninety-five percent of thyroid biopsies come back benign, but I was in the five percent group.

    Papillary cancer is unique because the treatment plan usually involves three basic components: surgery, radioactive iodine treatment, and a high dose of thyroid hormone supplement to suppress reoccurrence of the cancer.  By February 5, 2010, I was undergoing a total thyroidectomy.  During the procedure, the surgeon removed my thyroid gland, the tumor, part of my neck muscle where the tumor had grown, the parathyroid glands, and several cancerous lymph nodes.  Two of the parathyroid glands tested clear, so he replanted them in my neck muscle. 

       Following surgery, I was placed on a strict low-iodine diet and taken off thyroid medication in preparation for my radio-active iodine treatment.  During this time, I became very weak.  Most people receive up to 80 mCi of radioactive iodine for a first treatment, but I received 150 mCi due to the aggressive state of my cancer. 

    The third phase of my treatment involved taking a high dose of thyroid hormone supplement to try to keep any potentially remaining cancer suppressed.  So far, all my blood tests have revealed that I still have evidence of thyroid cells in my body, which indicates that I still have thyroid cancer.  One of the main complications I have suffered as a result of my treatment plan has been a weak, hoarse voice that has yet to fully recover.  After being off work for over two and a half months, I have returned to my career as a teacher with the aid of a microphone.  

    Even though my journey is far from being over, I know without a shadow of a doubt that God has been with me and that He will continue to be with me for however long my journey endures.  When I have been afraid, He has comforted me. When I have been confused, He has given me  peace.  When I have felt I could not go on, he has given me the strength to face another day.  It is God's presence that enables me to walk through the desert valley with hope.  In return, I desire to encourage others with the encouragement that I have received from my Lord. 

  

  

"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God."  

2 Corinthians 1:3-4  (KJV)