I Picture Hope-Billie

Meet Billie. She is a mother, a grandmother, a wife and a best friend.  She is seriously the picture of beauty, health, and determination.

I feel so blessed to know her and there are a million things I can tell you about her but none would be as inspiring as what she will tell you herself:

“Like everyone, my diagnosis in february of 2001 came as a complete shock. I had not found a lump which brought concern nor did breast cancer run in my family.  It was at my yearly mammogram that the cancer was first found and it took several procedures before we realized the full extent of the problem.”

“…I was very lucky that my Stage one cancer was diagnosed early on, and I also benefited from a new procedure that allowed me to forego chemotherapy and radiation.  A radical mastectomy was followed by the insertion of a tissue expander, which allowed for the chest wall muscle and breast tissue to expand.  This ultimately allowed for the insertion of an implant and for the final reconstructive efforts to take place.  It took six surgeries over the course of two years for the reconstruction to be “complete” but I have since undergone many more procedures for upkeep…”

“When people ask me how I coped or how I reacted, I simply say that I just lived my life.  I knew that I would be okay-it never entered my mind that I might die from breast cancer.  The hardest thing was telling my family and especially my mother (who had already lost one child to cancer) that everything would be okay. And by the grace of God, it was.”

“Almost eleven years later, I am happy to say that I am cancer free. Though my remaining breast has given me scares, thankfully everything has come back benign.  Breast cancer tried to beat me, but like every medical ailment that has befallen me, it has failed.  And it WILL fail!”

Wow, right?  She was amazing to spend a couple of hours with.  My favorite picture is the first one.  Her tiny granddaughter was playing right in front of us and her smile just lit up the camera.  It was so beautiful to see how happy she makes grandma! I know she counts her blessings every day.

Categories: I Picture Hope

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