We Are Living Hope - Legatha Burris
Diagnosed: Age 74
Now: Age 76
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” [Psalm 27]
I always have a mammogram every year, and never once had a problem. Then in January 2012 at age 74, my doctor found a lump after a routine screening. A biopsy revealed that it was malignant. When I heard the news, I knew my faith in God — and my favorite scripture — would bring me through.
I do believe that God will not give you anything you can’t handle, but at the time I was diagnosed, I was also facing my husband Johnnie’s illness from dementia. And although he was ill, he still tried his best to help and comfort me.
Life after surgery
I had a mastectomy, and after the surgery I thought I would need only radiation therapy, but it turned out I had to have six chemo treatments as well. I knew that the treatments could be hard on people, but I did really well! I read about how to handle nausea and I drank a lot of water and chewed gum, which seemed to help. And the nurses did everything they could to keep me comfortable during my treatments.
During my recovery, I lost my husband Johnnie to his illness. But with the strength of God, my family and my pastor, I survived. I’m truly thankful for my family. When I developed complications from an infection, my grandson drove me to and from the hospital every day for weeks. My sister is my anchor. And my two daughters came to stay with me through my recovery. Now that I feel better, we’re planning a trip to visit my brother in New York!
For anyone facing breast cancer, I would tell them that you must have regular check-ups, and most of all, faith that you can win this battle.