In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, we worked diligently to bring an incredible story to life. In this segment, you will get to hear from Patti Cain. She is a woman who is very close to my heart. She has been a role model and mentor for me throughout my adolescence and early adulthood. In the video below, Patti will take you through the story of her breast cancer diagnosis, fight, healing, and how she's doing now.
In May 2011, Patti was a single mom. She was accustomed to working 50+ hours per week. Despite her busy and hectic life, she spent a lot of time volunteering at church in leadership positions such as teaching the middle schoolers and high schoolers. In the midst of all this, she received a call from the doctor that would change her life forever. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at 47 years old.
When most people hear such bad news, they cave into their despair and give up hope.... But not Patti. She has always been a fighter and more optimistic than the average person. She filtered this news through her faith in God. Regardless of what was happening to her, Patti remained vigilant in her faith and had hope for a positive outcome. Her suffering must have meaning. She might not have understood why it was happening at the time, but that did not delay her steadfast love. From the beginning of her diagnosis to this day, Patti has seen Him as the Conductor of her life.
A pivotal part of her recovery was her support system with her family, friends, and church family. Anyone who knows Patti is a witness to her love for the Lord and her family. Her daughter, Kaitlin, is her greatest joy in this life. She adores her extended family and church family. Once you become a friend of Patti, her door is always open to you with unconditional love. She has a lot of children she has "adopted" and taken under her wing throughout the years. For this reason, many people know her and love her as a second mom. When Patti let everyone know what was going on with her, she received an outpouring of help, prayer, and love.
As a single mom, Patti could not afford to stop working. It did not matter that the doctor suggested she takes 6-9 months off of work. There were bills to pay and mouths to feed. Going through her chemo, radiation, and surgeries, Patti still clocked in at least 40 hours per week. Thankfully, she was blessed with a job that could adjust her work schedule as needed. She relied on God from day to day to give her strength. When she could not do it on her own, she called on Him.
About three weeks after her diagnosis, Patti underwent her first mastectomy surgery. This is where the breast tissue is removed as a treatment for breast cancer. From June 2011 to November 2011, she endured intensive chemotherapy treatments. This is used to kill cancer cells. Unfortunately, it kills the healthy growing cells as well. Some side effects of chemotherapy are hair loss, nausea, stomach pain, and headaches. From December 2011 to January 2012, Patti received radiation treatments. Even though there are several possible side effects of radiation, most people experience excessive amounts of fatigue as the good cells are being destroyed alongside the cancer cells.
March 13th, 2012 was a day to remember. Patti went for a PET scan. It was the moment of truth....
After a long ten months of treatment,
Patti was declared cancer free!
Five years later, Patti is still recovering. Overcoming a life threatening disease such as cancer takes a toll on you physically, mentally, financially, and spiritually. It takes time to heal, but you will, just as Patti is still healing. The best thing you can do is love yourself as you are. Stay positive and never give up. Take it one day at a time and rely on God to be your refuge and strength.
As a reminder of her journey, Patti has a keepsake box full of cards from loved ones. These notes of encouragement are a constant indicator that she is loved by many.
While planning our photo session, Patti shared a quote that truly described her experience.
Facts About Breast Cancer In The United States
Encourage women of all ages to be informed about the screening and symptoms of breast cancer. May we all support and love women who are going through this battle. A special thank you to Patti Cain for sharing your personal story on how you fought breast cancer. If any reader has a story about breast cancer they would like to share as well, please feel free to share it with us in the comments section below! Today we celebrate the women who have fought breast cancer, those we remember, and those who are still fighting.