Pressing on Higher Ground with Courage, Spirit and Faith.
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, Danquell Bradford, CEO of Dani & Danquell, interviewed 2 cancer survivors that shared their respective stories about the journey of experiencing breast cancer. This story hits home to Danquell’s heart strings since one of the interviewees is her mother-in law Judy and Judy’s best friend Cheryl. Both of these women hail from tight knit families rooted in Black culture (Caribbean Island Style) which means as women, they are strong and have the ability to make something out of nothing while never giving up.
Their faith was steadfast and their trust in God unwavering because how can you fight an enemy that you can’t see. It’s an enemy that is inside you, it’s not outside. It’s as if your body has turned against itself. But we know this was not a conscious decision on neither Judy nor Cheryl’s part to house cancer. Cancer just arrived uninvited and made itself at home.
Listening to their stories of having to take numerous mammograms, biopsies (which can be horrible says Judy) and surgery (in Cheryl’s case) while waiting nervously and patiently for the official diagnosis (even doctor’s experience apprehensive feelings when delivering the life changing news) was a bit unnerving to say the least.
Judy and Cheryl being connected to Spirit both had intuitive feelings that they may be given a positive diagnose (Judy diagnosed 5 years before Cheryl) for breast cancer although that is the last thing either of them wanted to hear. Unfortunately they were both correct. Women who are guided by Spirit and in touch with their bodies can sense when something is different or out of alignment. As Cheryl says after having abscesses in one of my breasts for 16 years, I knew something was up. And God is a great God because Judy and Cheryl were able to be support for each other during each of their experiences. It’s great to have friends and family there to assist you physically and emotionally but alone time is important as well, states Judy because you are really not alone and there is something significant about solitary time. Along with cancer showing up, meditation, eating a healthier diet, and consistent exercise of walking and dancing arrived on the scene as well.
Despite having to live with cancer and choosing to not die with cancer, these women’s lives were forever changed. Having been friends for 40 years, they saw themselves from an expanded view…cancer was found in Judy’s left breast and in Cheryl’s right breast…from their perspective it was like 2 breasts on one body. This was their spiritual connection: the oneness of how we are all connected… my sister and I are one!
“I can see, really see clearly now” says Cheryl, “I am drinking the full cup of Holy Communion, I used to take a sip” says Judy. Both these women have changed their language from ‘I am sick” to “I am in the healing process”. Every day was not a bed of roses but with Courage, Spirit and Faith they made it through. One motto goes for both women: “I’m gonna show up, bright as the sun, I’m gonna show up!”
A very special thanks to Judy Edwards and Cheryl Reynolds for your continue support and dedication to the D&D Brand.
Humbly Written by Rama Franklin
Photography by Marian Siljeholm