Gloria Woolsey
Gloria Woolsey's Journey of Hope

I am Gloria Woolsey. I live in Anniston, Alabama and have lived here my whole life. My family includes my husband, two sons, two daughters in law, and five grandchildren.

In 2003, my life changed forever. The CANCER word was given to me. I have a strong family history of breast carcinoma. My grandmother, mother, and a total of four aunts have had breast carcinoma, generally in their 50's and 60's. My cancer was moderately differentiated infiltrating ductile carcinoma. I was 59 years old at the time. Fourteen lymph nodes were negative. My estrogen and progesterone receptors were negative. The HER-2/NEU RECEPTORS WAS 3+.

July, 2003, I had a left breast modified mastectomy and 14 lymph nodes were removed. After the mastectomy I did really well. On August 21, I went to see Thomas W. Twele, M.D. He proposed Adriamycin and Cytoxan for four courses because of my
2.3 cm tumor and the HER-2/Neu positivity. The chemo made me very sick, but with GOD'S help I survived all the treatments. The hardest part of chemo was losing my hair. My church was wonderful! Every woman wore a hat like me. When my hair came back it was a different color and a lot less gray. This was great! Even in the hardest part of our treatment there is good that can happen.

In the summer of 2004, I had a very bad headache and was sent to Brookwood in Birmingham to have a MRI and MRA of my brain. These tests showed a huge 8mm aneurysm behind my right eye. They could not operate because I would likely have had a stroke. The doctors would rather you have the aneurysm 5mm or smaller to have success in the operation. At 10 mm they usually burst. With the caner and the aneurysm things looked hopeless for me.

THERE IS NEVER A PROBLEM THAT A MIRACLE CANNOT CURE. I will live each day to the fullest, as if it were my last day. None of us is promised tomorrow. We should all live our lives as if it really was our last day on Earth. Don't sweat the small stuff.

The picture of me was taken on our 35th wedding anniversary to renew our vows. This picture was taken in 2002, a few months before I found out that cancer was in my body. August 2007, I received a good report , all my cancer tests were negative. This is my 4th year to be cancer free.

I have some suggestions for anyone facing the tremendous burden of breast cancer or any other cancer. Do not become bitter and ask, "Why did this happen to me?" YOU cannot heal properly if you choose this route. It is a proven fact that anger will slow down the healing process.

Do not allow yourself to become depressed and close out everyone around you. Instead, get up every morning, take a bath, get dressed, put on your make-up and fix your hair or wig. Do this even if you are not going anywhere. The best way to handle disappointment is to say to yourself, "So, life has handed me a hard road to travel, but with JESUS I can make it because I'm going to give all of my burdens and heartaches to HIM and let HIM carry them."

I know that it is not easy to have faith. I have been there and I know about the physical, mental and emotional pain that you have to face. I cried many times and JESUS was there to comfort me. It is OK to cry. There were times in the BIBLE where JESUS cried. Do not try to be Super Woman and say that your pain and suffering doesn't matter to anyone and that it is just a part of life. Just remember what the BIBLE says about the valley. There is life and healing ahead of you. Continue on with your life. Everything that ever happens in our lives is for a reason. Just accept what you cannot change and know that ALL things work for the good of those that love the LORD. I know why this happened to me. I am to reach out to many hurting women who have cancer. I have asked GOD TO HELP ME BE A WITNESS FOR HIM.

You can greatly help a person when you have been through the same trial yourself. This cancer has given me another group of people to reach out to. Something good has come out of something bad for me and something good can come out of something bad for you too. If your life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Know who you are. This body of ours is not the real us. Our eternal soul lives inside. Let your spirit soar above all the hurt and pain.

Listen to inspirational music. Read some good inspirational books. Keep your mind busy and try not to dwell on negative thoughts. This will really help you. I know, this helped me!

If you don't have anyone to pamper you, PAMPER YOURSELF! YOU ARE IMPORTANT!

PRAISE GOD! STEEL MAGNOLIA'S is and forever will be a source of joy to me. Just to be with women who have been through the same thing that I am going through is a great comfort.

I hope these words have helped you. JESUS LOVES YOU!

THANK YOU STEEL MAGNOLIA'S for being there when I needed support and someone to care.

Gloria Woosley, A Breast Cancer Survivor