I’m Still Stepping
In 1994 my daughter was four years young. My baby was shot in her leg, and so was a guy I dated. It was my dream for my daughter to walk again. I was a young 17-year-old girl who had some bad choices and dating a drug dealer was definitely one of them. But God gave me better days, thankfully. My daughter is now walking; she has a permanent rod in her leg and is currently in school to become a medical technician, and she is currently a certified nursing assistant.
On New Year’s Day 2003, I gave birth to my son, whom I named Jeremiah. Two weeks later, I began to get really sick. I had placenta previa, a condition in which the placenta lies low in the uterus and partially or completely covers the cervix; it may separate from the uterine wall as the cervix begins to dilate in labor, but mine was left inside me. I had to have eight blood transfusions and was hospitalized for a week.
In that week, I started having panic and anxiety attacks, which left me afraid of the outside world. My daily life was greatly changed. It saddened me, as I couldn’t go out with my kids to do normal things. But one day, I decided to put my faith in God, not man. I said, “God, if you take one step, I will take two.” From that day on, I’m still stepping.
I’ve been through a lot of difficult times. My children and I were homeless. As a mother, I had very little income and tried staying with family but was put out; from there, we stayed for months at a local hotel. Altogether, I have eight children, and we had to stay in a room with two beds, along with my husband. It was hard for him to get a job because of a past felony conviction. But throughout it all, I kept my faith.
On October 2017, I found out I had stage 3b carcinoma of the cervix; later that month, I lost my mother to pancreatic cancer. There were so many difficult moments that occurred after that. After I found out I had cancer, it was so disorienting that i got into a car accident.
After that, I had several counseling appointments due to fear and anxiety. I also had internal and external radiation on my body, including brachytherapy, a procedure that involves placing radioactive material in your body. I had three procedures altogether, although I was supposed to have five. Fear almost caused me to lose my own life before surgery, as I pulled the IV out of my arm. Blood was everywhere.
I had been 221 pounds, but I dropped to 151. I had no chemotherapy because I was so sick. I went from wearing panties to wearing Pull-Ups, and from walking to being in a wheelchair. But today, I’m cancer-free. I’ve overcome fear and anxiety, and now I have a home.
I learned over the years that we all go through difficult things, but I’ve depended on God to bring me out. I’ve also started my own nonprofit foundation, Helping Hands, which deals with families, children, and cancer support. It’s not just about my life anymore. I know that cancer can hit you mentally, physically, and financially—so I’m committed to helping other people get through it.