A Personal Story: What Is Cancer?

Annie L. Quarterman
Annie L. Quarterman

Cancer is not just one disease, but rather a group of diseases. All forms of cancer cause cells in the body to change and grow out of control. Most types of cancer cells form a lump or mass called a tumor. The tumor can gather and destroy healthy tissue. Cells break away and travel to other parts of the body. The spreading process is called metastasis.

What cancer means to me:

There is life after cancer! In 1989 I was diagnosed with the disease called cancer. Again, in 1993 when the doctors told me, I was shocked and fear went all over my mind. But as I looked up and said, “Lord, I know you will never leave me, nor forsake me. Take my hands precious Lord and let me live.” Cancer has effected my life in many ways. I realized after surgery that my lifestyle was going to change. The Lord is my Shepherd and I shall not want. With God, all things are possible.

Faith, determination, medication, and the doctors of the nineties gave me the strength to lean and depend on God more. Living beyond cancer, twice, means different things to different people. To me, it means letting go of the negative feelings.

Sometimes I get stuck living in the past. Sometimes I fear the future. My involvement keeps me going and help keep my mind off of my illness. It also gives me a chance to help other people who are dealing with their issues. Seeing people happy make me happy and the more I give, the more I get back. I don’t let anger take root. I pray for people who mistreat me. Infinite God, help me to place my fear and anxiety in his hands and follow him. God is my hope and my comfort in the raging fires, dark clouds, and heavy loads.

In my life there are many broken relationships, perhaps even with my family. There are some I have decided never to speak or see again because of hurt and not understanding my illness. I have learned to forgive. There were times when there seems to be no tomorrow, but Jesus said “follow me my child and let the dead bury the dead.”

Sisters Network, Inc., Savannah Chapter holds regu- lar meeting every third (3rd) Monday of the month. They meet from 6:00pm until 7:00pm at Curtis/Elizabeth Cancer Center room Memorial Health University Education Center. Come to the back of the hospital.

You may reach Annie Quarterman @ (961-5430 or 224-2561). Memorial’s telephone # are (350-8000) ask for Curtis/Elizabeth Cancer Center. Feel free to call any time.

The meetings feature various guest speakers from the medical community as well as other individuals of interest providing the most current information in the fight of cancer.

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