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Taft Midway Driller - Taft, CA
  • Judy Allen : 23rd year from Surviving Stage II

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  • I grew up in Taft and still live here part of the year, off and on, with my mother, who is 98 years old. I wish to respond to your request for breast cancer survivor stories. I am in my 23rd year surviving Stage II invasive breast cancer. From the onset of the diagnosis, I kept a diary (in shorthand learned at good ole TUHS!) transcribing it three days after my mastectomy. I wanted always to remember the comfort and strength God imparted to my heart during this difficult time, for it turned out to be the deepest spiritual experience that I have ever had as I faced life or death. I called my diary, "Pillowed in God's Everlasting Arms," for, truly, his love held me up giving strength and courage that I so desperately needed. I later sent my story to Ann Jillian, singer/actress of stage, film, and television. She starred in the number one rated, "The Ann Jillian Story," which recounted her courageous triumph over breast cancer when in her thirties she had a double mastectomy. I had been so inspired by her courage and faith through this TV special that I wanted to share my own experience with her. You can imagine my delight when I received a letter bacl from her! She wrote, "Dear Judy, Catching up on my mail. I read your story. I adore your faith in the Lord and wanted you to have this prayer. Yes, you are a strong person with the Lord (me too)! Enjoy life! This helps me every day. Love and God Bless. Ann Jillian P.S. Love will see us onward." The prayer she shared is from St. Francis DeSales: "...the same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either he will shield you from suffering, or he will give unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace then and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginings." This, too, is the message I wish to share with my sisters and brothers. May you know God's love holds onto us and never lets go surrounding us throughout life's struggles. I know...I know, for five years ago I fell and was rendered a quadriplegic paralyzed for a time from the neck down unable to even get myself a drink of water. I found myself again at death's door, but now five years later I walk with and sometimes without a cane and live independently. I continued to write after the diary Part II "Music of a Mastectomy" about the path of service God led me unto, and then Part III "The Glory Story" chronicling my most difficult experience with quadriplesia as again all I could do was hold onto my Lord. I called my writings, "Grace and Glory" (God's, of course!) We are all a part of God's family connected by that divine cord of kindredship, and my prayer is for every hurting soul, This earthly lifr is a spiritual journey, a shadow in the scheme of things, for we go from life TO LIFE! Yes, my ongoing theme is, truly, "To God Be The Glory!" Judy Allen, PO Box 1262, Taft 93268
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