"Cancer is a word; not a sentence." Even if it tries to rewrite itself eleven years later. No one wants to hear the words "you have cancer", but even more so, no cancer survivor wants to hear the words "the cancer is back".
In June of 2005, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. A young mother of a 10 year old and a 13 year old. Only 35 years young, she endured 8 chemotherapy treatments, 28 radiation treatments, and a double mastectomy, along with a complete hysterectomy to eliminate as much estrogen in the body as possible. She never missed a follow up appointment with her surgeon or oncologist throughout the years to follow. As each year passed and we got further and further away from her diagnosis date, the more confident we were that she would remain cancer free. 11 years and 8 months, to be exact. When she developed a cold in October 2016, a persistent cough hung around and wouldn't let up, even after a round of antibiotics. Finally in January, she returned to the doctor where she was sent for a chest X-ray. The X-ray showed fluid in the chest cavity. This then led to a Chest CT scan which prompted doctors to drain the fluid (1.3 liters) to be sent for testing. An abnormality in the bone marrow of the spine also showed from the CT scan. After this news, my mom found herself once again sitting in her oncologist's office, scheduling a PET scan. 11 years and 8 months of comfort and confidence immediately changed to uneasy-ness and fear. Again, my mom sat across from a doctor and heard the words "it's cancer". Talk about a rock your world, bring you to your knees kind of feeling, and not in a good way. At that moment, my mom had two choices: surrender to the fear of cancer knocking at her door again, or cling to her faith, family, and friends and commit to giving this fight everything she has yet again. Those of you that know my mom know she is a strong christian, a fighter, and a selfless woman that would do absolutely anything for anyone. She rarely takes time for herself because she is always taking care of someone else. But above all, my mom is a survivor. This diagnosis cannot and will not take that from her. We trust in a God who is the Great Physician and He already knows the ending to this chapter of her life. The fight may just be beginning, but God has gone before her down this path and promises to carry each of us in the palm of His hand. What greater assurance could we possibly need?
Dictionary.com gives many definitions of a "raider". The one that inspired the name of this page, Rhonda's Raiders, is as follows: a person who works within an organization for the purpose of gathering evidence of wrongdoing. We (mom's family and friends, all of you!) are members of a group (mom's supporters) who are concerned and upset about a wrongdoer (CANCER). We want to learn more (evidence of God working in Rhonda's life) and my dad, sister, and I want to gather as many supporters for mom to provide her with positive vibes, prayers, and HOPE. Please join us as we rally around mom as Rhonda's Raiders. We wanted to create this page as a way to provide information and updates to family and friends throughout this journey. Blessed doesn't begin to describe how lucky we are to have so many loving people in our lives that want to simply be there for mom, but at times it can be overwhelming to keep everyone up to date. Please use this page as a way to keep updated and provide mom with lots of positive vibes and prayer. We will post as often as possible and will be sure to show mom all of your love. From the bottom of our hearts...thank you.