Anna’s Fight with Breast Cancer
I have often said that being diagnosed with cancer welcomes you into a sorority you never would have chosen. Hearing the words ” you have cancer” is devastating, life changing, and scary. You can dwell on the hurt and pain or choose to look for the silver linings of cancer. One of those silver linings for me has been an extended network of friends and connecting on a deep level with other cancer fighters. (The kind of level that only a cancer fighter can understand when staring down death in the face). Anna is one of those “silver lining” friends, but even more than a friend she was spiritual anchor, true fighter, and inspiration. Anna and I met on a “cancer date”. You know where a friend says, ” you have cancer, she has cancer y’all should meet!” Well you use y’all if you’re in the Midwest & I am 😉.
Our first “cancer date” led to many lunches, prayers for one another, and she quickly became a champion for the T. Teal cause; securing T. Teal’s partnership at Cancer Specialists of OK. Anna was first diagnosed with a precancerous condition in 2004 and was assured she was cured after a minor procedure. In 2010, however, Anna was told she had Breast Cancer and given news it had spread to her lymph nodes. She underwent surgery, chemo, and over thirty radiations only to learn three months after treatment concluded that the cancer had now spread to her lungs. Over the next six years Anna endured hormone therapy, more treatment, and several rounds of chemo.
Anna received the best gift in 2016, that she was almost in complete remission, and without hesitation gave total credit to God for her healing. During that time she came on a Care Pack Run, and fell in love with spreading love to others fighting cancer. We made plans for her to continue, but suddenly the cancer returned and she was placed back on a tough chemo regiment. The chemo made her very sick and frail. Suddenly our lunches and care pack runs were put off for visits at her home since she was too weak to get out. Our visits included all the normal girl talk, but it always somehow led to Heaven, and our excitement for a day when we would no longer have to worry about stupid cancer. Quickly our talks would morph into the real battle between light and darkness that takes place all around us, and we would gain strength from each other’s faith and prayers.
Anna and I texted some on Monday evening and on Tuesday morning I received a text from her best friend saying Anna had made her way to Heaven. Anna fought til the very end. I selfishly didn’t want that for her, but rejoiced that her many years of suffering had come to an end and she finally got to see a place she had such faith in, Heaven. Last night I had a dream about Anna. I was trying to give her fruits and vegetables to make her body well again, and in true straightforward Anna fashion she looked me straight in the eye and said ” Tarah I don’t need that anymore. I am well again! I am in Heaven. See you soon”. Love you Anna! Thank you for your fight, strength, light, and faith. I’ll see you soon.- Tarah