A hallelujah momentPublished 11:39am Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Sandra Smith never knew how she would react to the dreaded “C” word until one day seven years ago.
However, her reaction was quite different from what you might think.
“It was apprehension and peace,” Smith said. “I was apprehensive because I knew I had cancer, but I also had peace about it. I always knew I was going to be healed one way or another. I wanted to be healed here in this world, but if that didn’t happen, I knew I would be healed in the next world.”
That unique perspective on her cancer is one of the reasons why she can she’s cancer free seven years later.
Smith, who runs Adventure Travel with her husband Fred, found the tumor during a self-exam while she was on vacation. Once they returned home, she went to see the doctor, had a biopsy and then found out that the tumor was malignant. The form of cancer she had was ductal carcinoma in situ.
“The doctors told me it was a fairly aggressive form of breast cancer,” Smith said. “The did a test to see if it had spread to my lymph nodes, but it hadn’t.”
Thus, she began treatments at the Kirkland Clinic in Birmingham. It was a little unusual because she had chemotherapy first and then had radiation treatments.
“It seemed a little unusual to me because I’d always seen others who had radiation before chemotherapy,” Smith said. “But the doctors said they wanted to shrink the tumor before they went in and surgically removed it.”
She began the treatment and began to lose her hair, which she said was the lowest point of her struggle with cancer.
“Even though I knew it could happen, I still wasn’t prepared for it, when I’m in the shower and I have a clump of hair in my hands,” Smith said. “That was the lowest point for me.”
However, it was also during that treatment that Smith had a “hallelujah” moment.
About midway through the chemotherapy, she went back to the doctors and received good news.
“There was no signs of the lump,” Smith said. “You can’t imagine just how I felt at that moment.”
While the tumor was gone, she and her doctors continued the treatment until the end, but Smith said that moment and several scriptures helped her get through the rest of the treatments.
“It was at this time that I learned to stand on the promises of God,” Smith said. “Verses like, ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.’ One my favorite from Psalm 23:1, ‘The Lord is my Shepherd. I have all that all that I need.’”
It was also at that time that she learned to live life to its fullest. She had one grandson at the time and decided to make it a priority to be a part of his life.
“One of the things that I learned is that every day is a gift from God,” Smith said. “I had a 1-year-old grandson and I wanted to be a part of his life. And it was at that time I learned this lesson.”