Good things come from cancer

By Brooke Griffin, Student Writer

We often think we have life figured out; but what if we don’t, and instead are leading a life aimlessly. Can one tragic incident change how we view our lives? I have a friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2015, her name is Sue Shrodes. Shrodes has been my confidant when I’ve needed her must. She has sat with me hearing my fears and worries; always there for a listening ear; never judging me in my youth; offering me kind words of guidance but never making a decision for me. You can only believe my disbelief and shock when she told me early one morning that she was diagnosed with breast cancer. I remember standing there looking at her in all her strength, trying to absorb the news. Breaking down in tears, I hugged my friend telling her I was sorry. The first thought that came to my mind was if she was in pain. She told me she wasn’t. With the news of being told she had breast cancer, Shrodes still stood strong as I knew her to be. This gave me great relief for my friend.

Taking a moment to sit down with my friend Shrodes, I wanted to know her reaction as she takes this difficult journey. “From the moment you are diagnosed with cancer, your life will never be the same. Cancer isn’t a good thing, but good things can come from cancer,” says Shrodes. As a Christian, Shrodes has her belief and faith in God. Shrodes says God supports her minute-by-minute through her journey giving her peace that passes all understanding. Shrodes thanks her loving husband of 34 years for being her champion. Shaving her head before her first chemotherapy treatments, her husband has researched everything he could about the disease. Shrodes son, daughter-in-law, sister, brother, father, friends and coworkers have amazed her daily with love and support.

“As I travel this breast cancer journey, these past four months have been a roller coaster of emotions. Surrounding myself with people who are positive, who love and support me, I have transformed into someone who is getting in touch with the core of who I really am,” says Shrodes. “My cancer diagnosis forced me to face my mortality head on. It has given me a better perspective on life and what matters and what doesn’t, cancer has revolutionized my soul”.

My friend, my confidant, is strong beyond words. There are days I feel guilty because I still need her to be there to hear my fears and worries. Shrodes has been there every day even after the diagnosis, to listen to my worries. She never shows her pain but instead takes the time to ask everyone else how they are feeling.

Needless to say, for those who have been diagnosed with cancer, this is only the beginning to a new perspective on life. One in which will enlighten not only one’s way of progression through life but their friends and loved ones around them too. It is important to keep in mind that cancer affects us all, even if we are not the individual diagnosed. Cancer affects us in some way; whether we are mothers, daughters, sisters, friends, coworkers, doctors or patients. We really do not know how strong we are until being strong is our only option.