How did you first find out you had cancer?
I had this pain on my right side and I thought it was my breast that was hurting. My doctor scheduled a mammogram and that’s when I found out I had breast cancer. The pain was from my ribs. It had metastasized to my liver and ribs. It was stage 4. I thought, what the hell? It was December 2, 2009 at 10:00. I knew when she told me to sit down for a minute so the radiologist could review my films.
How did you react when you heard the news?
I said, “Stage 4. What the hell? Is God mad at me? What did I do to deserve this?” But I wasn’t too surprised, which sounds weird. My mom died in 2004 from breast cancer. But the question is “Why not me?” I’ve learned through my amazing journey that God will never give me anything more than he thinks I could handle. I’m blessed.
What course of treatment were you prescribed?
I go to Barnes Jewish Hospital in St Louis, Missouri, and I have amazing doctors and nurses. My first course of treatment was nine months of chemotherapy and Herceptin. I had my ovaries removed and I’ve had a lateral right breast mastectomy. I will have reconstruction surgery October 12 and I’m truly excited. I tried the expanders and it got infected. That was a terrible experience. My plastic surgeon had to remove it.
What most surprised you about your treatment?
You hear so many horror stories about chemo and I thought it would be the worst. It actually wasn’t. I was very tired sometimes and nauseated but that was the extent of it. In my conversations with God, I said I don’t want to be sick and I don’t want to lose weight. What an amazing God I serve. Neither happened and the chemo shrank the lesions on my liver to really small ones. There were two. I’m in remission now and I’m doing great.
What would your advice be to anyone who’s just received a cancer diagnosis?
Not to lose faith and God has a plan. I had to dig deep into my soul and do a great deal of searching. But I found my faith and I’m happy. I don’t even think about my cancer anymore. I still have to go for Herceptin every three weeks and that’s okay. I’m on Tykerb, as well, which sometimes gives me the worst side effects, but I can handle it. God gives me strength every day I wake up. I’ve had some bad days where I just wanted to through a pity party. But I pull myself out of that and keep moving. So now I say…Stage 4…Breast Cancer…What the HELL? (Helping Everyone Love the Lord). It has such a different meaning now.
How long have you been cancer free?
I’ve been in remission for one year. It’s not progressing and it’s stable.
What lessons did you learn from the experience?
I’m a trooper and I’m actually a strong person. Also Jesus is my savior and I was healed through his stripes. I have no aches or pains and I’m living life to the fullest. I am on an amazing journey. My family and friends have been amazing. I have so many wonderful people in my life. My daughter, Janaia, my dad and my three sisters have been amazing. They spoil me.
If you could send one message to all the Good Enough Mothers out there – what would it be?
God is good! Trust in him and believe in his word. There is no greater love.
Sheila Glover is 46 years old and is the mother of a 23 year old daughter, Janaia Glover, who just graduated from the University of Toledo with a Bachelor’s in Social Work. Sheila is a 25-year Air Force veteran and retired as an E-8, Senior Master Sergeant in the United States Air Force. She is a 3-year cancer survivor of Stage 4 breast cancer. She is God fearing and knows that God is a healing God. Her new motto and slogan is SWAGG—Survivor with a Good God—which she would like to trademark and use the funds to open up a nonprofit to fund mammograms or exams for needy women.
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