This month, Cumulus New Orleans & Sadeghi Aesthetic & Reconstructive Breast Cancer Center acknowledge Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
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I have the privilege of being connected to millions of women and men who serve as heroes because of their faith to beat breast cancer. My journey to warriorhood did not come from focusing on the possibilities of defeat, however, the hope of joy, peace, and complete healing. As a breast cancer survivor and activist, I can attest to how difficult the battle of fighting against the implacable nature of cancer.
My faith is very important to me, it keeps me whole. I allow my faith to carry me through the tough seasons of life. Even though the experiences can be unyielding to hope, I encourage you to find the good in it. For when the good is found, you will undoubtedly find God in it, too. My diagnoses happened in the middle of launching a city-wide project, Love 365, for hungry and homeless people in New Orleans. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2016. The humidity of the summer could not compete with the pressure of fighting an unanticipated battle.
I received a double mastectomy and the first stage of reconstruction on August 24th, 2016, then my second stage of reconstruction on November 28th, 2016. The following year on June 12th, I received my third reconstruction. Then my fourth, and final reconstruction on December 26th, 2017.
Most victorious warriors will tell you that the majority of any fight is mental and spiritual. While my physical body was under excruciating pain, I positioned my mind to be encouraged in the Lord. I even requested my husband, Lester, our three daughters, Joy, Faith and Angel, family and loved ones to think the same because there is strength in numbers.
It was not easy! We wrote the scripture James 1:4: “ I am perfect, I am complete, wanting and lacking nothing.” in the palms of our hands to provoke happy thoughts and faith in our spirits.
The confession served as a physical reminder that the battle could not be won with our physical bodies, but by using the power of the tongue and speaking life into the difficulty.
When I’m going through difficult times, I must be able to look into the future and see Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. I am constantly looking unto Jesus, who is the author & finisher of my faith! No matter if it is pain, suffering or rejection, I must be hopeful, readily looking into the future to see the joy that is set before me.
My battle with breast cancer has strengthened my faith in the power of God and the virtue of love given by others. Many organizations have awarded me for my commitment to serving the community while battling breast cancer.
I’ve received the State Farm’s Dream Achievers Award, Paris Soul Cafe Distinguished Service and Devotion award, Triumphant Ladies Breast Cancer Survivor awards and served as Honorary Survivor Chair for Susan G. Komen.
I didn’t allow the diagnoses to crush my dreams or stop the desire to be loved and to love others. Along with happy, faith-filled thoughts, I focused on serving and helping others in need instead of focusing on my diagnoses.
If you’ve lost focus and faith on being tenacious during the battle, don’t lose hope. You can get back on track by doing one simple thing: ENCOURAGE YOURSELF! You have the power to endure anything life brings, good or bad, by positively speaking your way through the difficulty and trusting the Father. Everything that is in you which is sick or dead will respond to what you confess by mouth according to God’s word. I am living proof that death and life are in the power of the tongue.