by Patti Morris
I’m from Tennessee and joined Premier two years ago on the invitation of my daughter, Corrie Zoetewey. She was pregnant with my first grandchild at the time, and I wanted some extra money to travel to Oklahoma to see them. And I knew I’d want extra money to spend on my new granddaughter!
I first found a lump in my left breast in August of 2012, and it was cancer. I was disappointed, but my biggest fear was for my daughter. My mother had breast cancer so we had a family history of the disease. My mantra was “Trust God,” and this simple phrase strengthened me. I knew I would have to rely on the prayers of everyone I knew. After 5 months of chemo to shrink the size of the lump, I had a lumpectomy followed by radiation. My lumpectomy was in the spring and I joined Premier in August.
I thought that was the end of it, and cancer was behind me. Then, during a routine mammogram in March of 2015, an abnormality was found. It was cancer, and I was disgusted at having to go through the process and expense again. This time my surgeon recommended a radical mastectomy. I did not want to wonder if the cancer would spread to the other breast so I opted for a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction. There was no more chemo or radiation but still lots of discomfort.
Through all of this, the prayers of many have eased the way. I praise God for His work in my life, and I draw strength and support from God first, then family, friends, and church family. I know that God always “has my back.” While I was waiting for the results of my second biopsy in 2015, a precious young lady in choir told me that she felt especially impressed to pray for me and asked if something was wrong. I told her, and I believe her prayers helped me through finding out that I had cancer again.
After my second round with breast cancer, I was pretty down. My Premier business had just really begun to pick up, and all of a sudden, I was in a slump. I did two shows within six weeks of surgery, but it wasn’t easy. I made it to Rally this summer, but I’m still struggling.
My oncologist helped me understand that each case is unique, and I encourage other women with breast cancer to remember this. We are all sisters in having this disease. I would want any woman to find doctors she trusts and follow their advice. I was blessed in that my family physician sent me to a surgeon whom I trust completely and she sent me to a wonderful oncologist and then a plastic surgeon. To all women, I would say to get regular mammograms and do regular self-checks.
The most valuable advice I received was to rely on God, allow yourself time to rest, and call on others when you need them. My Premier business is still slow, which is discouraging to me, but I know that it is all part of taking the time to heal. I’m struggling to adjust to my new normal, but I’m trusting God with each day.