Most people start their breast cancer stories with the day they are diagnosed. I am starting mine from the day before because I was feeling great that day, I was already a breast cancer survivor, so what could go wrong?
Twenty-four hours later everything changed. My faith was tested once again. I was told I had cancer for the second time. I was told that I needed chemo, I was told that I was going to need a mastectomy and I was told that I was going to loose my hair. My faith was now in the hands of doctors, in the chemicals that were about to kill me (to keep me alive) and the wisdom to know that everything was going to be alright.
Not only did I now have cancer, but I was also jobless. Really, how much more can one person’s faith be tested? After crying for about two days, I decided I needed to do something. I needed people, family, friends, and organizations to give me faith. I did not have it right now. It was hard to even see the small signs of faith. My bones ached, I was so tired I couldn’t even walk down the block, and I was an emotional wreck every time I lost more hair. Every day was a struggle, and when I started feeling better, it was time for chemo again.
I never thought that I was going to die, but I needed faith that I was going to be “normal” again. You don’t appreciate your health until you don’t have it and you surely don’t appreciate “normal” until you are abnormal.
I needed help, and as I started researching and getting aid, I realized that I was feeling that I was getting “my control” back. Faith and control go hand in hand. I got financial help so I would not go bankrupt, I was “adopted” by a family for Christmas so there would be presents under the tree and I asked my mom to move in with me and help me for six months. Through all of this amazing things started to happen.
Breast cancer tests everything that you are- your faith, your soul and your spirit. I did not want any other woman to feel despair with the diagnosis of breast cancer, and that is why I turned my pain into my passion four months after my last surgery. Footprints In Pink offers women resources wherever they are; wherever they live, wherever they are in their treatment and wherever they want to be.
Resources create power; power creates less stress and less stress is a better place to heal. My service allows you (the patient) to take the time to rest, take the time to be with your family and take the time to go to your doctor’s appointment.
I now have faith that my non-profit will give women faith. A year ago I had none, and today I have more than I need.
Please share in the comments below: What was your biggest takeaway from this inspiration story of hope, courage, and faith?
Jennifer Kennedy is a two-time breast cancer survivor. She was diagnosed the first time at age 32 and was recently diagnosed last year at age 50. She has spent her career working in non-profits and now works as the Director of Footprints In Pink. She is a mother of a teenager, loves photography and traveling.