Beverly McKee MSW, LCSW

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Breast Cancer, A Bible Verse and HOPE

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4

This has always been mbev chemo bible versey favorite bible verse. I never dreamed that I would lean so heavily upon these comforting words at the age of 42 when I suddenly found myself staring death in the eye. It all started with one sentence that would change my life forever:

“You have breast cancer.”

I have always found strength in my faith but learning that I had a sneaky form of Stage III breast cancer was the biggest challenge that I had ever faced in my life. I called upon God to walk through this valley of darkness with me and I picked up my own rod and staff in the form of HOPE.

The day after that phone call, I met with my oncologist to discuss all of my treatment options. She kept referring to five year survival rates throughout our conversation. I finally interrupted her and told her that I didn’t care about five year survival rates. I wanted the treatment plan that would help me survive for 40 years. We took an aggressive approach to treatment and I went home that night and planned my 40 year survival celebration. It is set for October 17, 2052 on the beach of Sanibel Island, Florida as the sun is setting. It will be the party of a lifetime and everyone is invited!

I found strength in my favorite bible verse as I faced one challenge after another. A bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction, sixteen weeks of chemotherapy, twenty eight radiation treatments with a total of five surgeries over the course of one year.  An unexpected biopsy, waiting for days for test results. It wasn’t an easy journey, but somewhere deep inside, I knew that there was a higher purpose for my diagnosis.

"I felt called to do something...but what? I prayed about it for weeks on end but it was hard to stay focused.                         I was busy fighting for my life while being a mom to my two young sons."

I was halfway through chemotherapy, facing another sleepless night when I finally got out of bed. I sat quietly in the dark and told God that I was listening. The answer came to me that night. I would write a book about women who have survived breast cancer for decades.  Finally!  pI had the answer I needed.  That night of prayer took my life in a new direction and has filled every day since with inspiration.

I went public with my blog about my journey through breast cancer and created a website full of helpful tips and videos for others facing breast cancer. I am constantly overwhelmed with the inspiration that I receive from my survivor friends throughout the world that I've met on social media. We share celebrations, positive stories and offer support to one another.  Amazing things can happen when you allow your faith to guide you in the right direction.

I’m pleased to tell you that another prayer has been answered. I am cancer free! Breast cancer has definitely changed my life forever. But I continue to search for the rainbows through the storm every day.  I have a deep respect for the Bible, but I HOPE you won’t mind if I change my favorite verse just a bit:

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me and give me HOPE”.

© Copyright 2013-2014 Beverly McKee. All Rights Reserved

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