My name is Sue Strand. I’m not unique or more special than anyone else but I wear many hats. I’m a child of God, a daughter, a wife, a grandmother, a sister, an aunt, a friend, a lover of animals, music and dance. I’m an overcomer not a quitter, an encourager and a grieving mom whom lost her beloved son Kyle, the original INDY warrior. I’m also a breast cancer survivor.
When Kayla asked me if I would be willing to share my cancer story, I was hesitant. I needed to do some praying about the idea of sharing something that I don’t often talk about. My prayers left three things on my heart: I could feel Kyle making it very clear that I was to do this, so in honor of his memory I said yes. Secondly to give thanks to my lord and savior for without his grace and mercy, allowing me to live, I wouldn’t have a story. Lastly there may be someone who will find my words as hope and encouragement for their future.
In November of 2013 I discovered a lump in my right breast. I didn’t think much of it, certainly not cancer. At the time Kyle had already had surgery and had been diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. Soon to begin treatment. Honestly I was more concerned about Kyle, who was very ill, not myself. So I continued to pray that the lump would go away. Clearly it did not. I scheduled a mammogram which led to an ultra sound, a biopsy and on February 15th, 2014 I received the diagnosis stage 2 Invasive Ductal Adenocarcinoma. I had two dime size tumors. The diagnosis came one week before Kyle and Kayla were to be married. Again no time to be sick, this was a time for rejoicing, my son was about to marry the woman he loved. My heart was very happy for him, he worked on recovery very hard to be able to see his bride walk down the aisle.
This is where the journey becomes my own. Original to me, a decision to do it my way, which isn’t for everyone. Each person that faces a life changing disease has to do what’s best for them. I wanted to target my cancer cells the natural way. I began to research and studied cancer fighting foods, herbs, supplements, homeopathic remedies and essential oils. I met with a natural healing doctor and put a plan together and immediately put my plant into action. I underwent surgery and removed my right breast and opted not to do chemotherapy or radiation treatment. It wasn’t for me. I’m in no way stating that I’m an expert or that my way of doing things should be your way but I do encourage you to become your own advocate. Start researching foods, what’s good and what’s not good. Are we eating foods that repair and renew? Are we giving it supplements to help our immune system combat illness? Educate yourself so you know what works to keep you and your family healthy.
Fast Forward 4.5 years
I’m here. I’m alive and well. I woke up this morning so I believe God isn’t done with me yet. I’ve often asked God why Kyle and not me. And I know I will never know the answer. Each day I have to make the decision to be happy and live, I owe it to Kyle and all the others who didn’t have the privilege of waking up this morning. I continue to eat as well as I can, taking my supplements and exercising. But most of all I continue to be thankful for the many blessings in my life. The countless prayers and acts of kindness. The unconditional love shown to me by my husband, children, grandkids, in-laws, nieces, nephews, friends and acquaintances. My journey is not over yet so I’m working on being more present in the moment, deciding what matters most, enlarging my soul to love more deeply and to be a more kind person for those around me. Cancer has definitely changed me physically, emotionally and spiritually. However the biggest challenge that cancer caused occurred when a piece of my heart went to heaven when Kyle left this earth. It’s very difficult to share everything I’ve experienced, to put it in a short form. I hope I’ve left you with something to think about. ❤️
My prayer for each of you is to be patient with yourself or others that may be going through a life changing event. Be thankful for your life even if you face many difficulties and challenges. Love like its your last chance and remember to believe there is a heavenly place that awaits us, where there’s no pain, suffering or heartache, just happiness.
Much love and God Bless ~