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Karen

Steyn

Breast Cancer

Warrior

As a child, I always believed naïvely, that if your faith is strong enough, that God would protect you from sorrow, pain and hardships.

Ok, maybe you would get one challenge to face, but that would be it. God would protect me and keep me safe.

 

After 4 years of marriage and one beautiful baby boy later, we try to conceive again. Needless to say, that what follows was 2 miscarriages (1998 and 1999), a lot of tears, and a difficult path of believe. It was a struggle for 3 years before I fell pregnant again, and to get my mindset and my believe, right again.The Lord was so good for us and gave us two more sons later on. What a blessing. Life was wonderful and my sorrows was over and done with.

 

In 2017 my husband and I had to face the biggest challenge, emotionally possible. Our son confirmed our believes of many years and told us that he is gay. We supported him all the way but the hardest part, was to keep it quiet for 2 years as he was still in school. It ate me up like cancer. This was and still is the biggest emotional challenge for parents to go through, because you want to protect your child in every way possible. Only a parent of such a child will know what I am talking about.

It was a massive biblical challenge, as our upbringing was very conservative. After many months (almost 2 years) of research and prayers, we have peace in our hearts and our son fully accepted himself for who he is.  Life could go on.

 

29 July 2020 (age 49), I felt a lump in my left breast. I knew it meant trouble, because my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 38.  She is now 52 and clean. Thank God. That Friday, 31July, I went for a sonar and a mammogram. The Monday of 3 Aug., I had a lumpectomy and that Thursday, 6 Aug, they told me it was Grade 3, Stage 1, Estrogen Receptor Breast Cancer.

I knew what was coming, because I saw my sister go through that. I was devastated, knowing the side - effects of chemo and what I had to go through. My test results also came back very high and showed that I had to get chemo and radiation.

It all started Sept. 2020. I ended my 8 sessions of chemo, on the 18th of March and my 15 sessions of radiation on the 4th of May, a day before my 50th birthday. I still have to take Tamoxifen for 5 years. This seems to have challenges of it’s own.

This all was a huge emotional and physical challenge to go through. All 3 our sons, my husband, family and all our friends,stood by my side through this time. Needless to say I threw a huge 50th birthday party. I am now in remission and so thankfull.

 

Life taught me: 

There is hope in the dark. I must believe that God is good when life is not.

God is good all the time.

 

I hope that someday, I could mean something for somebody who had to go through the same pain and hardships.

 

I’ll end with a message of Joseph Prince from his book, Glorious Grace.

“When the Lord restores, what He gives, is always greater in quantity or quality than what was lost. Whatever the enemy has stolen from you, we are going to believe the Lord for a 120% restoration.  If the enemy has stolen from you or defrauded you of the best years of your life, then in that very area, in which you have suffered loss, God is going to give you much more than you had before."

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