Breast Cancer Survivor Relies on Faith and Family

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breast cancer survivor

You hear about faith moving mountains, but when faced with challenges, we discover faith moves people and circumstances to shift the mountain.

“It doesn’t look good,” are words you never want to hear coming out of a doctor’s mouth after a biopsy. But those are words Beverly Malone let sink in last October after finding a lump in her breast.

The biopsy results were formidable, but not completely overwhelming – at stage 1, the lump was 1.5 centimeters, and it was aggressive. Malone decided after a lot of prayer to have a bilateral mastectomy.

“It hasn’t been easy. The things we take for granted like driving, opening the dryer to put your clothes in … health is one of those things. Every step of the way, God was so faithful,” she says. “When I didn’t feel like doing anything, even praying, I read in Psalms about sheep. When they are sick they won’t eat, and the shepherd helps them. The Lord is my shepherd helping every time I’ve needed it.”

The cancer wasn’t in her lymph nodes, but Malone learned she would still benefit from chemotherapy. The family had a head-shaving party when her hair started falling out. Her husband Bud, Lewis County Farm Bureau Insurance agency manager, had been growing a beard since her diagnosis, and he shaved with her.

“It’s like taking a long country drive – when you are flying through life, you don’t see what you are driving through. This has forced me to slow down and appreciate the drive,” Beverly Malone says. “I kept going back to two words: trust and through. I knew I had to fight through it, but had to trust God to help me get there.”

And fight she did, with the help of her faith and her family – “my physical family, my church family and the Farm Bureau family,” Malone explains. “The night I got back from chemo, our driveway was lined with love – posters filled with encouragement. It took us forever to make it to the house as we cried and laughed, reading every one.”

Faith has kept Malone going throughout the entire process, even when she was discouraged, couldn’t do things she had always done or didn’t feel feminine anymore.

“Even though we are more than our outward appearance, it was a really hard grieving process to lose my hair and breasts,” Malone says. “I felt I had lost my femininity.”

After watching a 76-year-old woman’s reconstruction testimony online that said, “You are never too old to feel feminine,” she decided to embrace that belief. “That did it for me,” Malone says. “It gave me my life back.”

Malone wants to teach women, especially teenagers, that they are more than their physical attributes. She says that though our culture proclaims you have to have certain things to be beautiful, you just don’t. She received a wig from the American Cancer Society (ACS) but found that she preferred the fit and comfort provided by scarves. She says though the wig wasn’t for her, the support and research from the ACS is astounding.

“So much can be prevented if we do checks and mammograms,” Malone says. “If I hadn’t done that, I don’t even want to think about where I would be right now.”

The ACS recommends women ages 45 to 54 get an annual breast cancer screening with mammograms. Women under 40 or with a family history of breast cancer should talk with their health-care provider about their risk and the best screening plan for them.

“I’ve loved supporting ACS with Farm Bureau in the past, but when your feet fit those shoes, you really love it,” Malone says. “This year will mean even more because I truly know what ACS does for breast cancer patients.”

Malone’s prognosis is good. She finished chemo in May and goes every three weeks for a chemo treatment for the next year to keep the cancer at bay. She has as much faith as ever. “Fear is the biggest culprit during the process,” she says, “but overcoming that with God will get you through anything.”

breast cancer survivor

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

Farm Bureau Insurance of Tennessee began its partnership with the American Cancer Society in 2012 as the statewide sponsor of the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer campaign. Since then, it has raised more than $1.3 million and distributed more than 131,000 pink Farmer Charlie hats. The greatest fundraising dollars have come from the statewide “pink-out” games, which have garnered most of the money raised and brought thousands of Tennessee students, teams, parents and communities together to raise awareness of breast cancer. To learn more about the American Cancer Society’s efforts during October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, visit cancer.org.

2 Comments

  1. Betsy Caperton

    August 19, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    Beverly, I work at the home office in Columbia—Life Underwriter. I am also a breast cancer survivor and August 31st will be my 5 yr cancer-versary! I pray everyday for sister survivors and hold high my faith also! I had one lymph node positive and went through 6 rounds of chemo. Not fun but am here 5 yrs later and praise God everyday for letting me survive!
    Many prayers and best wishes to you!

    • Beverly

      August 19, 2016 at 7:44 pm

      Thankyou so much! Congratulations on your cancer-versary!

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