Denton County Living Well Magazine Spring 2015 - Page 40

The Serendipitous Blessings of Cancer By Jessica Scott Turner as told to Tina Withrow Group and Dr. Willhelm Lubbe with North Point Cancer Center in Dallas and Verity Radiation in Plano. Manager at Verity Radiation, Regina Hargrove, along with cancer survivor Jessica Scott Turner and independent Cancer Navigator Tina Withrow. I f a cancer survivor had told me how “blessed” they were in spite of having cancer when I received my cancer diagnosis, I might have rolled my eyes and loudly explained to them that my stress scale was already off the charts. I just flat didn’t need, want, or have time for cancer! Having grown up in Louisiana most of my life, I married my high school sweetheart Ernie, and we settled in to raise our five children who ranged from 5 months to 16 years. Ernie’s job brought us to Texas, and we felt a sense of belonging in both the Sachse/ Wylie community and our new church family. I felt a lump under my arm one day and went to my OB/GYN who thought it might be an infection. My intuition had already told me it was cancer. Three weeks later they told me what I already knew. One of the hardest parts for me, besides telling my family about my cancer, was being told that once chemotherapy started, I could no longer breast-feed my 5-month-old daughter. My family needed me and I needed my family in Louisiana! At times, sleep brought the only comfort I could find. How was I going to make it happen? I wanted to get back to the life Ernie and I had planned! Just thinking about my family’s schedule could make my eyes cross, let alone adding chemo, surgery, and radiation on top of it. The blessings came in all shapes and sizes. Our church family surrounded us and was a constant reminder of what a faith community is all about. Friends, family, neighbors, and strangers loved us through it. They loved our children, cooked for us, laughed wi