Breast cancer took away Rosalyn White's independence, but through support and determination, she reached the goal. White was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer in October 2012 and Friday, Oct. 11 she was declared cancer free, with only two more rounds of radiation treatments left.
“I am so happy to report that my doctor has declared me cancer free,” White said with joy. “This is has been a long journey, and I'm thrilled to say that I'm a survivor.”
Not only was the journey difficult from a physical standpoint, but White said it was hard on her as a person. She's always been very independent, so when she was faced with the news, the hardest thing for her to do was humble herself.
“I was used to doing everything on my own,” White said. “The hardest thing for me was not being able to work. I had to humble myself and it took a lot of effort.”
Her family was there with her from start to finish, which proved to be helpful to her.
“My kids and family members were right there with me,” she said. “One of my sisters was there with me through the whole thing.”
White said the prayers of her customers also helped her get through this difficult time. Living in a two-income household, without health insurance through her work (Fantastic Sams Salon in Waxahachie), White said being unable to work during chemotherapy was very difficult for her. It was during that time that she saw the hand of God move in her life.
“Every time we would get to the point where money would be tight, I would discover a check in the mail,” she said. “All I had was my faith, and the Lord continued to prove himself to me.”
There was only one time White said she became emotional about her circumstance.
“I cried the first day and then I said 'alright Lord it's time for the fight,'” she said. “I was never afraid of dying, because I was determined that it was not going to beat me.”
In her experience, White said it's best to stay motivated and surround yourself with positive people when fighting through a trial in life.
White said she underwent a lumpectomy, and began her chemotherapy back in December 2012. She said that was the most horrible part of the entire experience.
“I had to take six rounds of chemotherapy, and continued to work until February of this year,” White said. “Even though I felt bad, I had to keep going. That was the most horrible thing I've ever experienced. I don't ever want to go through anything like that again.”
She has since learned to take everything in stride and not take anything for granted.
“Something like this will change your entire perspective on life,” White said. “I'm a hairstylist and we're usually pretty vain. When I started losing my hair from the chemo treatments, I decided I would just go ahead and shave my head.”
Looking in the mirror after shaving her head, White said all she could do was burst into laughter, because she saw the spitting image of her father looking back at her.
“You must find the humor in situations like this or you will drive yourself crazy,” she said. “I even laughed at the fact that I wasn't going to have a mastectomy, because I was hoping for a new pair of breasts.”
White said if she could convey one message to the readers, it would be that mammograms are very important and early detection is the key.
“A lot of people don't like to talk about cancer,” she said. “Also, there are many women out there who just don't want to go through the experience of a mammogram, but you must get it done. It could save your life.”
Staying positive and keeping the faith is critical to make it through, White said.
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