This entry was written by Dana M. Dukes of Philadelphia, PA:
Matthew-6:34: “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” (NLT)
Back in February, I had a seizure, which lead to the discovery of tumor activity in my brain. Ever since that has happened, I began to worry…
On December of 2008, Dana learned she had stage IV breast cancer. Her cancer had become metastatic as it had spread to her liver and bones. But this past February, Dana suffered from a seizure. While in the hospital she received another blow – this time her cancer had spread to her brain.
For some months now I’ve been worrying even when I thought I wasn’t even trying. I worried so much after having that seizure. I worried of course about the disease advancing. I also started fretting over my finances, health, family, friends, and even my self-image.
Dana felt like a burden to her friends and family. And on top of all that, she had to care for her three children. Dana wasn’t prepared to lose her hair. She decided to cut it before beginning treatment, assuming hair loss would be less traumatic if her hair were already short. She was known for having different, unique hairstyles, but this style was one she didn’t want.
When I would go to the doctors, I tried to gauge their actions as if I’m just waiting for them to give me bad news, but my fight, and faith inside leads me each time to see the positive out of every visit; even if the results aren’t as great as I would like them to be.
Even after Dana found out her disease had spread to her lungs, she marched on.
I was worried all the time. I was even worried about my employment. Eventually I was let go right in the middle of my crisis…leaving me to fret some more. But I can’t complain because in all that has been going on the Lord has been providing for me and my children!
Dana first learned about LBBC as a recipient of the Cis B. Golder Quality of Life Grant, a program that provides small, one-time grants to newly diagnosed women with financial need who live in the Philadelphia region.
I can sit back and think now on how He [God] has, so many times, come and rescued me even when I dug the whole myself and didn’t know how I was going to get to the next level.
In the past few months I have even been worried about my hair; well lack of hair (I’m bald again! LOL). I wear wigs and scarves, but I am tired of them. I want to just go outside bold and bald, and not feel ashamed. I’ve been plagued with this for some time, fearing what others will think.
As an African-American woman, Dana felt there weren’t a lot of hairstyle options available. She looked through wig magazines and couldn’t find any women who looked like her. Dana wondered if she would ever look and feel “normal” again.
It is time for me to just take the limits off! God is in control of the situation, not me. As I was reading this morning I came across this scripture: Peter 3:3-4
3: Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty that depends on fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes
4: You should be known for the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which is so precious to God. (NLT)
It was at that time the revelation hit me: here I am trying to please others, once again. How are they thinking of me? How should I behave? How should I look? I was ashamed to be the WARRIOR-SURVIVOR in his breast cancer battle. My outer-man had to be altered and my inner-man is what I need to be focused on.
My spirit is most important and it allows my light to shine out. Being genuine and true is why I am able to help someone else.
Well today I take the limits off! No more worrying. I’m kicking into high gear. I know that there’s a faith I have and even though I can’t see it right now it’s going to happen. I’m dumping the opinions of others right off on the floor. If they have a problem with me, then that’s on them.
I HAVE A LIGHT TO SHINE…
I HAVE A LIFE TO LIVE…
AND WITH HAIR, OR NO HAIR…
I’M NOT GOING TO WORRY…
BECAUSE MY FAITH IS BRINGING ME THROUGH!
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