Hello, my name is Beatrice Garner, and I am a two times Breast Cancer Survivor and a mother to a boy and girl twins. My journey started on June 20, 2011, when I got that dreaded phone call from my OB/GYN doctor. He said Beatrice, you have breast cancer. I fought back the tears because my daughter was with me at the time, and we were driving down IH-35, heading back home from being out all day. Oh, boy, that was a long ride home. I didn’t want my daughter to know but when I looked over at her she already had tears in her eyes. The more he talked the angrier I got. “How is this so” I stated, “I did everything I was supposed to do. He assured me that I was in good hands. Later, a breast biopsy showed I had triple-negative breast cancer stage 2b. Triple-negative is a very aggressive form of breast cancer. It appeared first in my right breast. While there’s never a good time to get cancer. This was the worst time for me to get this diagnosis because my daughter was pregnant with my first and only grandchild. There was no way I was going to miss his birth. Being there for my grandson became my motivation besides I already had a baby shower planned for my daughter. I told my surgeon there was no way I was not going to be at the baby shower. At that time, he informed me that surgery would be on 07-05-2011 the day after the holiday, not a day later.
My grandson was born a week after my mastectomy. So, with God’s grace, I was there to see his birth. Remission for me lasted for almost ten years. The first time I had cancer it appeared in the right breast but now it was back but on the left side. Just like the first-time surgery was done first followed by chemotherapy. Radiation was part of my treatment plan on the first go around but not part of my treatment plan during the reoccurrence. The first time it was at stage 2Bright before it was getting ready to travel to other parts of my body or metastasize. I was able to find the knot while taking a shower. The reoccurrence was stage 1A. It was caught earlier stage the second time and was detected by a mammogram. It couldn’t be seen by the necked eye. Both times I had surgery first followed by six rounds of chemotherapy.
My second diagnosis was given to me on my birthday 01-20-2020 during the pandemic. This was the worst time ever. I often told my friends who I met in chemo by the way. “I don’t know what I ever do If my cancer was to come back”. Well by God it returned almost ten years later and guess what? I was once again victorious because of my faith. There wasn’t going to be any giving up. Cancer has made me stronger and has creased my faith in God. My strength comes from him above. Life is not fair but as that old saying goes “When life gives you lemons make me lemonade.” Things could have been very different. I have now involved with three support groups that have helped me in different ways. Some help with bras, wigs, and support meetings. These are all beneficial to me because I suffer from depression it was hard to mustard up the energy to fight. I was either giving up and dying or keep relying on God and continuing to fight. I made new friends while on my journey that I met from being active in local support groups.
Having strong faith, good friends and support groups all played a hand in my recovery. My message to everyone going through or that has been fighting cancer is to first rely on your fight and keep a positive attitude. It’s okay to have bad days but don't stay down. Instead, pull yourself up by your bootstrings because I time to put on your big girl panties and tackle the world. If I can do it so, can you because HE -- God -- doesn’t give us more than we can bear. (1cornitans 10:14)