A New Beginning: REFLECTIONS of a Cancer Survivor

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I would be extremely grateful if, with your help, I could close the gap between my vision and a complete, packaged resource to give for free to listeners. True, I could email mp3s to as many people as my schedule permits, but if I had a website that was ranked on Google, these stories could be found at any time, anywhere, by anyone who needs to hear them. Join me for the very beginning: Twelve stories guaranteed to shed new light on beating cancer. But, I need your help with purchasing: I will cover the following costs: If we get a lot of responses from survivors who want to do interviews and I sincerely hope we do!

The other reason is I want to give the listener a way to tell me what should be investigated or included in podcasts specifically. In the event this happens, please know that I'm working on expanding content to fulfill rewards as quickly as possible. Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ. Want me to investigate how to deal with pain from surgery? Telling your kids what needs to happen in a way that makes them feel safe?

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Please help me serve best by investigating what you want to know. Oct 1, - Oct 31, 30 days. Share this project Done. How To Beat Cancer: A podcast about cancer survivors and how they beat cancer, created and hosted by John Paul Younes. Why I Want To Help I want to interview cancer survivors, after seeing my own family fight cancer, in an attempt to spread some hope.

What do you tell yourself? How do you stay strong? Here's My Goal The greatest influence on the way you think is the people you surround yourself with. I want this podcast to be evidence that people beat cancer every day, in all places. I want the listener to hear these stories and think: I was diagnosed with cancer in May and on June I had a left breast mastectomy.

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  5. I have been around a lot of people who had and have cancer. I never thought It would happen to me even with a strong history of cancer in my family, but it did. To learn about my cancer was very devastating and it was hard for me to accept the fact that I now had cancer. I prayed and prayed for the Lord to help me to get through this. God answered my prayer. I have accepted my new condition and I am learning to live with it. Because of my cancer, I have a stronger faith in God and I am a better person. My family took very good care of me until I was able to help myself.

    By the time I had finally accepted having cancer exactly one year later in the same month of June my daughter, LaWanda, was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 36 on her right breast.

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    I was more devastated about her condition than I was about myself. I thought I was never going to stop crying. To keep my sanity, I start praying again. This was very stressful to me. LaWanda has always been my most sickly child. I didn't have to take any chemotherapy or radiation but she had to take both.

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    7. She lost all her hair and she made me very proud of her when she shaved what was left of her hair off and went bald all the way. Sometimes she wore scarfs and wigs, but mostly bald. She looked cute with her bald head and cute big earrings. LaWanda and I are on our journey together living one day at a time. We thank God for each day. I love LaWanda very much and I hope we will have a very long, painless journey together. My name is LaWanda Johnson and at the age of 36 I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

      On June 18, I was told by the doctor I had breast cancer. Previously, I had a mammogram done in February and received a letter stating that it was normal. However, that same month I found a lump on my right breast. This was very strange to me when I just had a mammogram two weeks earlier.

      I waited a few weeks before going back to the doctor about it because I thought it could have been another reason why it was there. My doctor scheduled for me to have another mammogram and following that again I received a letter stating that everything was normal once again.


      Five years on – the journey from cancer patient to survivor

      A few days later I received a phone call and was advised that it was abnormal and was urgently scheduled for an ultrasound and later a biopsy. At this point I was confused and scared because 4 months had passed since I has the first mammogram that I was told to have been normal.

      I kind of figured out what the out come would be but I continued to pray that everything would be okay. After knowing that I had breast cancer I now knew that there was a history of cancer in my family since my mother was diagnosed the previous year. What bothered me the most about my diagnosis was my than 9 year old son. Since I am a single parent I couldn't imagine me no longer being in his life since he was so young. I really didn't want to let him know what was going on but he needed to know. Once I told him he did get very emotional but he was also very helpful and understanding.

      He actually made my journey a lot more easier to handle along with the rest of my family. A journey through cancer is not one to take alone. I was so happy when that part was over with. Now I just make sure that I keep all my appointments, take better care of myself and be more blessed for every day that I am still here. My road to recovery was asking God to help me have faith enough to believe that he would answer my prayer for healing and enough patience to wait for his answer.

      Breast Cancer Survivor Portrait Gallery Monroe, Louisiana (LA), St. Francis Medical Center

      Even in the midst of loss, disappointment, sickness, or failure, I lift up praise to God because I know every time I do, He will work powerfully in my situation and I will be glorified in the process. I couldn't do any normal testing to find out if the cancer was anywhere else, I only had one choice at that time and that was to have a mastectomy. My cancer was only in the right breast, but I decided to have both my breast removed.

      At the same time, all that was on my mind was my family. At that time I had a 7 year-old son, Gus and a baby trying to grow and come into this world. The not knowing what would be the out come of my life at that time was enough to drive me pass anything that I ever knew or thought that I knew. I had a double mastectomy after my 13th week of my pregnancy and started chemo treatment about two weeks later. My mind stayed turned upside down, and wild thoughts, thoughts you would never think of in a million years. I would have crazy things run through my mind that I would have to shake myself sometimes to stop thinking these thoughts.

      I'm sure others have had some of the same thoughts that have been told they have cancer. It seemed like anything that could go wrong for me, it did. If it said "Uncommon Side Effect" it had my photo and social security number by it. Losing my breasts was very hard, but I could hide that, but when my hair started coming out, that was what I think was the hardest for me and the end. I had let my hair grow, that was the longest that my hair had been since I was a little girl.

      That was something I was proud of and in two weeks it was gone. I did have it cut before I started chemo and donated it to the "Locks of Love". Then I'm sad to say I quit washing my hair. I really thought that I could save my hair if I didn't wash it, crazy right? Then I had to wash it, and it was pretty much gone. My husband, Gary works offshore and he is gone 14 days at a time, so when he left for work I had all my hair and when he returned home it was pretty much gone. What little was left, Gary finished shaving it off for me. At one point during all of this I had five doctors.

      All the best I could get. They were and still the best to me. I have learned that a good relationship with your doctors and nurses makes your journey easier. I think I was at a doctor's office or a hospital once or twice a week for months. I had six blood transfusions while taking chemo and being pregnant. The doctors finally stopped chemo around the end of June to let my body rest and get ready for the delivery of my baby.

      We were going to have the baby a month early. All I could think about was what I had done to this baby.

      I was so scared after taking all this chemo and everything else that I went through. Well, our little girl came into this world very healthy and with no problems at this point in our lives. I will say that she only weighed 4. I do believe the chemo did show through her in a few ways. She had no hair on top of her head, no eye brows and no eyelashes. They are growing back now, and her daddy will have to keep a close eye on her with eyelashes that just about touch her eyebrows now.

      She is beautiful and full of life. She is a survivor also. God knew what he was doing when he gave me Helen Olevia. I had my scan, restarted my chemo the first part of August. I was on the downhill side of my cancer. I had my baby and finishing my treatments in the next couple of months. Then the bomb drops, my cancer had spread to my liver, and we all know what that is "suppose" to mean, but that is not for me.

      The Lord is taking one piece at a time and putting it in His pocket.

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      I'm happy to report, that I'm very blessed and my cancer is in remission. I believe that we all have a journey in life, some have an easy journey and some are chosen for some reason to take this journey. For me, I believe the Lord has me here to tell about a miracle that I have and that if we believe, life can be full of wonderful things from Him. I have learned how to pray, something that I didn't know a lot about. I believe the Lord can make a difference in your journey.

      I also found that life, family, and friends are things that can't be replaced and are what is important. I don't think that I could have come this far if it wasn't for my husband, Gary, son Gus, and daughter Helen. I'm blessed to still have both my parents, and a brother with me.

      But I want to say that I was very blessed with a wonderful husband. He has been through it all with me and has never turned away from me once. My son, Gus, he has had to grow up quick and face things that I wish he could have been spared from. Helen, I hope that she has had all the chemo that she will ever need and never has to go through it again. Ironically I was filmed by some newscasters at the Relay for Life talking about my previous bout with cervical cancer in the past and how I was waiting to have a breast biopsy in one week.

      Which I quoted "will be fine". Well, to my surprise, it was not fine. The day after Mother's Day in I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I remember curling up in each of my kids' beds that night and crying next to them scared to death I would have to leave them. I tried not to worry them so I didn't want them to know about me having cancer. Well that plan didn't work because I had to have a double mastectomy and chemo every week for three months and every three weeks for the rest of the year and this caused me to lose my hair.

      This was very hard to prepare the children for for me. I am a Mom first and a Girl Scout leader second. Those two things bring me the most joy. I was so scared that my girl scouts parents were going to take their daughters out of my girl scout troop because of them being scared I might die during the year. This would have crushed me, but I would have understood. And then I tried to figure out how to prepare the girls for all of the changes that were happening to me with hair loss and many, many surgeries. The girls did great. They acted like nothing was wrong with me and loved me everyday even more.

      I remember having chemo on a Friday for six hours and taking my girl scout troop to a Mall Lock-in all night long. Throughout the whole year I would get chemo and then hold a girl scout meeting or event at my house for my troop several times a month. The girls were very understanding and helpful. They even cooked and brought me dinner while I was too sick to cook. My girl scouts and my own children have learned way more about community service throughout this experience. They help every year with the Relay for Life and the Race for the Cure.

      I also know they will always be more aware of breast cancer and I know that will save one of their lives in the future or someone they love.