Friday, September 9, 2011

My Breast Cancer Journey: Guest Blogger - Yvette Register

The Diagnosis – Part 1     BY YVETTE REGISTER

The following article is part one of a five part series on a personal experience with Breast Cancer written by Yvette Register in the Orlando Times Newspaper.

ORLANDO - In the beginning it was a secret. I didn’t want anyone to know. I didn’t want to talk about it because I would start crying. I remember February 1, 2011 like it was yesterday. That was the day the "C" word entered my life and changed it forever. It was the day my doctor told me that I had Breast Cancer! The lump that I found in January and had biopsied was malignant!

I sat in my doctor’s office and listened to her say, "Well Yvette, I don’t have good news." It sure wasn’t. As I listened, I tried to hold back the tears in my eyes because I was trying to be strong. Some rebelled and fell anyway. I just kept saying, "Wow!" Lots of things ran through my mind like, what will happen to my son, AJ, what could I have done differently, will I lose my business and how do I tell my family. I also remember saying to the Lord, "Lord, I can’t die! I have too many people to help. I have to be here to finish helping AJ through college and the rest of his life. Lord, do I have to go through this?" The answer was yes!

After a long discussion on the journey ahead of me and getting the names of a couple of surgeons, I left my doctor’s office and sat in my car and cried some more. I had a long talk with the Lord and told Him I needed Him to get me through this. I prayed for strength and guidance. And then I called my mother. I just knew the news of my diagnosis would break her heart. To my surprise she was very calm. I know it was for my sake and I’m sure when I hung up the phone she cried, too. But telling her was a partial relief for me. 

In the upcoming weeks, in between my MRI and searching for my Cancer Medical Team, I found the courage to talk with two cancer survivors. Winsome Edwards and Iselyn Dallas had traveled the road I would come to know well. In addition to their advice I read Lakeba Wallace’s book entitled "You can make it!" All three ladies I had met years ago. I believe the Lord planned it that way to prepare me for my journey. From them, collectively, they shared the following words of encouragement: 

Breast cancer is not necessarily a death sentence! Especially since there have been many advancements in cancer treatment. 
  •      Take one day at a time!  

  •      Sleep when I don’t feel well!

  •      Ask the surgeons about my plan of care, the stage of my cancer, the chances of             re-occurrence, the type, etc!

  •      A diet of fruits, vegetables, chicken/fish and lots of water would be very helpful!

  •      You are stronger than you know!

  •       I can make it!
Next, I gradually began letting people know of my diagnosis. It wasn’t easy but I felt relief and a sense of freedom. I felt free from the worry and stress of keeping a secret. I had people tell other people and it made it easier on me. For example I told Deb Moore, my college friend, and she called, emailed and texted our other college friends to let them know. It made it much easier on me when they called to have the "I was diagnosed with breast cancer" discussion out of the way. I told my staff immediately and we cried together. But I waited until I lost my hair from the chemo treatments to tell my fellow agents. I don’t know why, I just did. The main thing is that I told as many people as possible. I wanted to assemble prayer warriors.

During my journey I’ve found that a lot of people keep silent about breast cancer. In the beginning I was one of them. I’m writing a five part series to give others a glimpse of the journey they call a battle. Many are not aware unless they or a loved one has experienced it. My friend Renee Scott suggested I take her on my journey, because it may help her with a loved one or a friend in the future. Today I began sharing my breast cancer journey with the diagnosis. I hope you’ll come with me when I share putting together the medical and support team, the surgery, the chemotherapy experience and the radiation treatments in the upcoming series of articles.

It is my desire to let people know that you don’t have to go through breast cancer silently or alone. It can be done boldly with: 
  • The comfort and support of others! 
  • A strong faith in God!
    I want my words to encourage, inspire and be a blessing to others. THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE IN THE JOURNEY!

    Yolanda Adams - Never Give Up

    1 comment:

    1. What can YOU learn from this inspiring story of courage? Who can you comfort and inspire after hearing this story? Very few families will get through life without having to confront cancer on some front. The challenge is to do it with faith and courage! Thanks Yvette we love you and are with you in the journey!