How did you first find out you had cancer?
My husband felt a lump in my breast. He asked me to get a mammogram and sonogram the following day. I reluctantly submitted to his request but had no doubt it was nothing to be concerned about.
How did you react when you heard the news?
Instant nausea, butterflies, impending fear, death encroaching, deep sadness, abandonment.
What course of treatment were you prescribed?
My treatment was a bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction, 6 rounds of chemotherapy, and a hysterectomy.
What most surprised you about your treatment?
God continually answered prayers. He gave me grace and strength for each treatment. It was hard and I cried and I was a fearful, but HE still gave me joy in the midst of suffering and HOPE.
What would your advice be to anyone who’s just received a cancer diagnosis?
IT IS NOT THE END. Do not loose faith and hope. Be strong and courageous and do not let fear disable you. Fight strong and SHINE. You can do all things. Endure, persevere and you will come out a winner.
How long have you been cancer free?
I have been cancer free, healed, for four years.
What lessons did you learn from the experience?
I learned how to overcome fear with faith and how to overcome weakness with strength, how to shine a light in the darkness, and about how giant trials can produce much growth. About how sometimes we have to be physically broken to be spiritually healed. How to live, learn, love and laugh in everyday regardless of the circumstances.
If you could send one message to all the Good Enough Mothers out there – what would it be?
Don’t give up, don’t ever give up. When life gives you lemons make lemonade. Choose faith over fear. Shine a light even when it’s dark. Be strong and courageous do not live terrified of the past, present or future danger of cancer. Thank God for your life. Life does not end with this diagnosis. It’s really only begun now because I’ve had a fresh new perspective and am truly grateful for every day that I have on earth with my family.
Nancy Bayouth did not have a family history of breast cancer when she was diagnosed at the age of 38. It came as an unexpected shock in her life. It was very scary and she felt like it was a death sentence. She went through an elective bilateral mastectomy followed by six rounds of chemotherapy and a year of Herceptin. She also had reconstructive surgery and a complete hysterectomy. She is married to Mark Bayouth and they have three sons, John Mark, Luke and Matthew Bayouth. They lived and continue to live a very blessed fairy tale life even with a history of breast cancer.
She also has an active spiritual life leading and taking several bible studies. She believes in the power of prayer and that God has used this experience to show others how to tackle fear.
She is currently serving her 2nd year as chair of a new fundraising event for the Joan Katz Breast Center in Fort Worth. This event, “Beyond the Bag” raises money for the center directly to provide many wonderful services for women and men going through breast and gyn cancer. This center is such a gift and was not open when I was going through cancer four years ago. I want women and men to know this place is for you before, during and after your journey.
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