Cicely McCray, Breast Cancer Warrior Survivor!
We’ve selected Cicely McCray as our Breast Cancer Survivor, Cicely’s enthusiasm and willingness to honestly and openly share her journey was very evident in her submission. We’re hopeful Cicely’s story will empower, uplift, inform and encourage other women with Breast Cancer and/or other health issues. A MILLION THANKS to you Cicely for being so kind to courageously share your personal journey with us……..
“They say you don’t know your own strength until strength is the only option you have. Well, on April 12, 2016, I unexpectedly was about to find out just how strong I was. I remember it like it was yesterday. Breast Cancer is no respector of persons. It doesn’t care who you are, where you came from, what color, what age, or that you really don’t have time for this horrible disease. So there I was at the age of 42, wife, and a mother of a 5-year old daugher. I felt like I couldn’t breathe and the sting of death was at my door. My life, that seemed so young and fresh with so much ahead, suddenly seemed dark and hopeless.
I found out the pain I’d been experiecing in my left arm was an aggressive form of breast cancer and that it had spread through my lymph nodes. Around 20% of cancer patients diagnosed have distant or advanced disease, meaning their cancer has spread to metasized to a different site from the original tumor. The tumor had spread to spots close to my liver. I spent the next two days feeling sorry for myself. Asking why me? What had I done to deserve this? Wondering if I would die without having had the opportunity to fulfill my dreaam of seeing my daughter, Arrington, grow up and go through all the richness life has to offer her or to live a full life with my husband, Marreo. But, I thank God for my FAITH and God being an ever present help in my life. Mark 5:34 says, “Daughter, your Faith has made you well.” You see our Faith activates God’s Powers.
So for two days I as walking around in a daze! But on day three, y’all know that third day has power! Jesus rose on the 3rd day with all power in his hands. And on the 3rd day, the self-pity and self-doubt came to a crashing halt.
The warrior in me took over and vowed to fight this horrible disease with everything I had. I would not give up until I kicked cancer’s butt! And most importantly, I promised never to give up on my faith, or change the person I was in the process. And here in that moment, a new ME emerged. I was a fighter and was not ready to leave the world. I was not ready to leave my daughter and my family behind. My purpose on earth was not fulfilled, and I was ready to put my boxing gloves on and fight this horrible cancer. I completely turned my breast cancer diagnosis over to the Lord! For the Lord will fight this battle. The battle is not mine, it’s the Lor’s!
The Fight Begins: Invasive Ductal Carcinorma also known as infiltrating ductal carcinoma in the left breast. Estrogen and Progesterone Positive. I was told I would have to take daily chemo pills, monthly injections for an undertermined amount of time. The tumor in my left breast was 22 X 16 mm. I could barely lift my arms for months. The pain was excruciating! The meds caused major Nausea and Fatigue. Daily chemo pills- 21 days on and 1 week off! The oncologist told me the side effects were: Low blood counts, weakness, mouth sores, decreased appetite, vomiting and hair loss.
What does this mean for me? Will I lose my hair? Can I still go to work? Will my appearance change? Will I look sick? Will I be able to care for my child? To God Be The Glory: I haaven’s lost an ounce of hair, I go to work every day and I Thank God for energy to keep pressing on! And most of all, I’m still cute, joyful, happy and confident! I am an example of the growing number of chronic metastic patients who are alive because I was diagnosed on the crest of emerging targeted therapies and drug combinations to which the tumor responded.
I started to change my prayer to, Lord your will be done with this process and I am healed in Jesus’ name. I started putting the hashtag #healed on all of my FB posts, text messages and all communication with my friends. Believe it or not, it caught on and now my friends send me messages with the hashtag, #healed.
As of today, the tumor has shrunk in half with medication, diet, prayers and the fight to live! I am still on daily chemotherapy and receiving injections every other month. I also drink alkaline water and feed my cells with happy food and limit the amount of junk food I consume. I have moved slowly to an alkaline diet that helps balance the PH level of the fluids in my body. Doing this has lowered chronic pain and inflammation, protects my bone density and muscle mass, boosts vitamin absorption and prevents magnesium deficiency. Cancer cannot live in an alkaline environment.
The strongest tool I found in my cancer battles was the will–the will to l ive, the will to love, the will to believe. I had to choose Faith over Fear! You can’t fight properly if you are afraid. My motto was “I’ll take this bull by the horns. Yes, it might throw me around a bit and knock me to the floor every once in a while, BUT, after everything is all said and done, I WILL BE THE ONE LEFT STANDING! I refuse to let my diagnosis determine my destiny. This cancer does not own me! So today, I have so much love and respect for my amazing medical angel care team, my oncologist extraordinare-They are truly the best! They have all encourage me that I can fight and look good during the fight! Cancer messed with my breast, but definitely not my self-esteem! I can get through this and look good doing so!! Sometimes God has to take us through the renovation process to get us ready for the Grand Opening!
Hear me well: None of us will get out of life alive, so be great, be gracious and be grateful for the life you are living. Cancer is treatable and beatable. I want women to know that are not victims but conquerors, we are strong and able to go through this with hope, dignity and courage. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live and in the manner in which you l ive. As I close, I would like to say that together we’re tougher that cancer and I would like to close with this poem.”
“We flash them, we smash them, we push them way up
We shake them, we stuff them in the wrong cup sized up
Our children have drained them and some of us even decided to name them
We go through our lives and knock them about
But one thing is certain, one thing I must SHOUT
Our breast have been there through thick and thin
AND LIFE IS TOO PRECIOUS TO LET CANCER WIN!
THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS!”