Life After My Breast Cancer Diagnosis

By on October 22, 2014
Breast Cancer Awareness postage stamp

By Lori Kempton –

This past week, I was quietly minding my own business when my phone started dinging over and over. It is set up to make a particular sound when someone sends me a Twitter message and it appeared I was getting more than one!  I looked down and instantly went into denial.  Someone was tweeting the article that I wrote for LivingBetter50.com magazine almost two years ago.  It was an article that I wrote just weeks after I was diagnosed with breast cancer, http://livingbetter50.com/its-confirmed-breast-cancer-what/.

My first thought was true agony. Do I really have to revisit such a painful time in my life all over again? I have been feeling better and other than a few doctor’s appointments here and there, I try not to think about it.  But there it was. Day after day, my article was being tweeted and shared around the world.  I really wished it would just go away.  But it didn’t.

Yesterday, I was convicted about my attitude as it once again arrived in my Twitter feed. I was reminded that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and even though I am now better, there are many who still need encouragement. I literally choked as I swallowed my pride and posted the link on my Facebook page telling my friends about my old article. Again, my phone started sounding off as I received notifications of others sharing the article, commenting on my post and sending it specifically to their friends who are experiencing their own personal struggles with cancer right now.

A few minutes after I posted it, a friend from high school commented that her daughter had just been diagnosed with breast cancer. Her words leapt out to me when she said…

I thank you for sharing this at this time in my life. I am just a little lost right now. Not sure where I will get all the strength and energy to do what is required. I am a bit overwhelmed and anxious. I have always known that when we share, it ties the enemy’s hands. He always tries to make us believe that it is only us and then brings in all the negativity. No one really likes to share this but we have to get beyond it. Thank you for sharing…I look at it differently now. This really helped!”

She was thanking me but had no idea how she had encouraged me and confirmed it was the right thing to do to once again share my story!

The doctors told me when I was diagnosed my life would never be the same. I didn’t believe them but they were right.  The doctors also told me that just going through surgery and radiation with no chemotherapy, it might be 1-2 years before I felt normal again. I didn’t believe them but they were right. It took me a good 18 months before I started feeling better.

I’m happy to report that today I am unstoppable! I wake up with a smile and vigor to attack each day with joy.  I am alive and well!

I’m glad I took the step to share my painful experience. My friend is right.  The enemy wants us to think that no one else understands what we are going through.  The truth of the matter is that in America alone, hundreds of thousands of men and women are diagnosed with some form of breast cancer each year.  If you are currently in a battle, do not let the enemy convince you that you are the only one.  If he can isolate you, he will win.

The most important thing I learned through it all was that I was never alone. Even when I went to a procedure by myself or felt alone, I was never alone.  One morning I was really struggling about going to radiation. I didn’t want to go. I was trying to justify why I shouldn’t do it and really feeling sorry for myself. I wanted to give up, but I got dressed and went to my appointment anyway.

As I arrived at the treatment center, I tried to put a big smile on my face as I was greeted by the receptionist but it just came out about halfway. As I sat down to wait, I pulled out my iPad and opened my electronic Bible to James 1. As I sat in the waiting room, I had tears streaming down my face as God literally met me there with His Word.  It said, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4 (NKJV)

It was confirmed. I immediately knew that life as I knew it had changed.  God was taking me to a new dimension of knowing Him.  He used my circumstances to stretch me, mold me and teach me His ways.  I needed to have praise on my lips and patience in my heart as He once again showed me more of Him.  How can I not get excited knowing that He loved me enough to be there for me in my time of weakness and sorrow so that someday I might be perfected… complete…lacking NOTHING!

So yes, I had days in my humanness that I was sad and asked, “Why me?” However, there have been many more days of praising Him for what He did and is still doing in my life today as a result of my cancer journey.  I now smile because I know that God didn’t ask me to go anywhere He wasn’t going with me.  He drew me closer to Him than ever before and changed me in a way that my life will never be the same.

What trial have you been through that changed your life? Have you praised and thanked God for that experience or did you become bitter, missing the opportunity for growth?  I realize that it was important to trust my doctors, but quickly learned it was even more important to trust my Lord and Savior.  He was the One that got me through.  I hope that you will be inspired to trust God the struggles you have in your life today.  Maybe He’s asking you to be brave enough to share your story to encourage another one walking down the path you have already traveled.  I promise you.  If you make the choice to trust God today, your life as you know it will never be the same!

 

Lori KemptonLori Kempton is passionate about encouraging and communicating God’s truths and love to other women. She is a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan, author of “Just Trying to Be a Blessing,” and inspirational speaker.  As a gifted storyteller, she vulnerably and genuinely uses some of the most hilarious, as well as painful moments in her own life to tell others about God’s love for them. She and her husband, Jim, live in the Cincinnati, Ohio area.   www.JustTryingToBeABlessing.com

 

About Lori Kempton

Lori Kempton is passionate about encouraging and communicating God’s truths and love to other women. She is a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan, author of “Just Trying to Be a Blessing,” and inspirational speaker. As a gifted storyteller, she vulnerably and genuinely uses some of the most hilarious, as well as painful moments in her own life to tell others about God’s love for them. She and her husband, Jim, live in the Cincinnati, Ohio area. www.JustTryingToBeABlessing.com

6 Comments

  1. Judith Robl

    October 23, 2014 at 6:31 am

    Well said, Lori. I’m proud of you – and I know our Father is, too.

    • Lori Kempton

      October 23, 2014 at 6:12 pm

      Thanks, Judith! I couldn’t do what I do without prayer. Thanks for praying for me!

  2. Debbie M.

    October 23, 2014 at 6:43 am

    To know without a doubt that God is for us… changes everything! Thanks for sharing how God used the Enemy’s attack to bless you through the cancer journey and beyond!

    • Lori Kempton

      October 23, 2014 at 8:05 pm

      Yes it does, Debbie! Thanks for your comments!

  3. Cecelia Lester

    October 23, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Lori:
    About three months ago, a doctor told me I might be dealing with Celiac disease- an allergy to gluten( a substance found inwheat, barley, rye and some oats.) Because of this, we can no longer eat out nearly as much as we used to. This is good. We rediscovered cooking and crock pot cooking.Two days ago, Hubby made chili and included gluten-free elbow macaroni. Between the two of us, we haven’t felt good in several years. But, now, I am able to say that I am on the mend.
    Next weekend, on Sunday, a couple from church will be celebrating her recovery from a year’s struggle with complications from surgery. They have invited those of us who have been there encouraging them during this time to a catered dinner. When I called to RSVP she told me they had informed the caterer of two of their friends are on gluten-free diets. The caterer will have certain foods there for us and they will be labeled.
    My 50 year class reunion was early this month, I decided I couldn’t go because of the gluten-free diet. Those I have run into since have understood why I didn’t get there.

    • Lori Kempton

      October 23, 2014 at 6:21 pm

      Thanks, Cecelia! Feeling good and being healthy is a wonderful thing!

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Life After My Breast Cancer Diagnosis