Hello! My name is Dee Bradley. I want to tell you a short story. If you knew me, you would laugh at that statement, because usually I can’t tell ‘short stories’.
I have been on a 21 year journey, with something I did not invite. In 1992, cancer attacked my body. People who say they ‘have’ cancer never invited it in. You ‘have’ friends over for a party, you don’t ‘have’ cancer. Attacked by colon cancer first, after the surgery I went through chemotherapy for 7 months. Chemo is worse than the illness.
My doctor said he wanted me to take six more months of chemo. I told the doctor that God, in an audible voice, would have to tell me I had to have more chemo, before it would happen. I never ‘heard’ the voice.
In April, 1993, after x-rays, CT scans and so many tests, the doctor said I had another cancer attack. The same surgeon went back in the same incision. I had stage IV adenocarcinoma of the colon with metastasized colon cancer and breast cancer. I told the surgeon that if there was a next time, just put in a zipper. It would make it easier on him and me.
The doctors told me I had 18 months to live. My oncologist, surgeons, GP, everyone said, “Go home and make your arrangements.” I did. I’ve had to change those plans twice. My pallbearers keep dying. How when I ask anyone if they would be my pallbearer they say NO, thank you!
In 1997, I had a heart attack. I got over it. In 1999 I was very sick and scared cancer was back again. The doctors asked me if I had my gall-bladder. I told him I wasn’t sure what they had taken out. They were beginning to call me “hull”.
October 1, 1999 they removed my gall-bladder because it was not working. October 21, 1999 the doctors removed my left kidney due to renal cell carcinoma. I had kidney cancer to attack this time. The cancer was the rapid growing kind. When they found it on October 1, it was the size of a dime. By October 21, it was the size of a hen egg sitting on the blood supply tube going down to my bladder from the kidney. No discussion about that kidney could be saved.
I lived with the fact, since 2003, I had a mass in my only existing kidney. I went through all types of tests. I did know I was not able to be put on a kidney transplant list due to the facts. I pasted sixty-two years of age; I have had three primary cancers and two heart attacks. Doctors told me too often the tumor was not operable. I found one doctor in Birmingham, AL that would do the surgery. He did what is called cryoablation one month before my tenth year anniversary of my right kidney removal.
In January 2013 I scheduled my routine mammogram. I went to Rome and had the torture. About a week later I had a call that I needed to come back for another view to be taken. Something in the first mammogram looked suspicious.
I did go back and was told that very day there was a mass close to the wall of my chest. With all the other ‘c’ I had, I needed to have a needle biopsy. I did. I am going to send you to my blog post of what that was like. It was a funny.
To make a long story short…I had to have a double mastectomy. I had two types of breast cancer, after twenty years. I decided to have reconstruction. The plastic surgeon doctor stepped in as soon as the physician was through taking off my breasts. He put in my expander. I am almost through with this part of the reconstruction. I hope he will be ready to put in my real breasts soon. I never wanted watermelons, but I don’t want to settle for small oranges. I certainly won’t be getting cantaloupes.
I am so glad I am alive. I had a terrible infection after the surgery, and on April 9th, I almost died. I had to have an emergency surgery to correct the infected breast.
I am fine now. Looking forward to getting my breasts. I don’t know if the ‘c’ will attack again. I pray not. The doctors say it could come back to the bone, liver or brain.
People ask me how I make it through. I just tell them this: I believe in Jesus. I believe I have been left here on this planet to praise the Lord in all things. I believe cancer should always be spelled with a little ‘c’ and my Christ spelled with a big “C”.
Also, if you stay around me for very long, you will find a good sense of humor has helped! God does have a sense of humor…look at the one sitting by you. He does.
I know, no matter what happens to me, God does have a special place in heaven for me. This life on earth does not guarantee a life without any problems. As a matter of fact, it is only a vapor…
I have lived through broken hearts, sins, BAD decisions, and so many other terrible things…but when I asked God to come into my heart, my entire life changed. I am human. I love to have a good time. I still love to have my glass of wine and I don’t think God will condemn me for that one. If He does, it’s between me and HIM. I still have to watch my mouth. I can still say things which make me so mad with myself. But when I do I know to stop and ask for forgiveness immediately.
I hope you have a real and personal relationship with Jesus Christ! It is the only thing, in the end, that will mean anything.
God Bless you!!