Allee Webb is Making Strides Against Breast Cancer
Allee Webb | Contributor
This should be a joyous time in my life, my son is getting married in a few days. What should be fun and excitement and high expectations is tainted with an underlying fear. I need calmness in this season. You see this time last year we were all excited and celebrating my sons graduation from UT Chattanooga..
As proud as I was of him for his achievement I was an even prouder mom for the words he wrote to me about his own feelings toward his strong warrior mom. You see this time last year we were celebrating my being free of Triple Negative Breast Cancer. I had gotten a clean bill of health in November of 2016 and was told I could come back in a year. I had protested and ask for a six month checkup because of the high risk associated with Triple Negative. Thank God I spoke up for myself. As it turned out, I was diagnosed just a few days after his graduation with Stage two. The cancer had returned in the same breast , bigger stronger and more aggressive. The battle had to begin again.
Let me take you through a short story of my journey. I was very ill prepared to hear any bad news. A Single career women with two grown children and a caregiver for a family member, my time was not really my own. I had grown up in a home with a hypochondriac mother, so I did not allow myself time to be sick. I very seldom went for checkups, I pretty much thought of doctors as useless and for a long while, I went without health insurance (I was never sick why would I need it.)
In 2014 I would need it! I was sick, deathly sick, I did not know what was wrong, didn’t have a family physician, but I knew something was very wrong. Sleepless nights, random shooting pain, swollen feet and ankles and sores that would just burst open on my skin. I finally fell over my desk at work with an acute attack of diverticulitis. That attack probably saved my life, because I finally went to the doctor.
There is a fight to be won, and I am blazing a trail . . .
This photo was taken on what Allee tells us was the worst day of her fight.
Several things showed up on a ultra sound, swollen this and that fibroid tumors on my ovaries, and diabetes. Among the specialist I was sent to was an OBGYN and I was totally freaked out as to what they might find. Cancer however was the least thing on my mind.
Skip down several weeks after a mirage of test. I got a letter to have a second mammogram.
Still in denial that I had cancer, I spent most of the time at Baptist Women’s Clinic that day praying for other women in the room. You see I’ve always had a difficult time praying for myself. I guess you might say I’ve had a hard time taking care of myself at all.
There is an art piece in the Gallery at Women’s of an Angel. That day as I sat there trying to calm myself and realizing other women were coming and going, and the only place I was going was back and forth for more images. That Angel spoke to me..no kidding it did! Not in a voice but in my soul. I knew I must pray for myself I must let go of the negative energy and wasted hours of worrying about things I really had no control over.
You might say I had an out of body Angel flight. From that moment I ask God what do you want me to do with this?
Be careful what you ask for.
God sent me out to be the Pink Warrior and he taught me that I was stronger than I ever imagined I could be. Part of that strength was learning to be calm in the storm.
I have always suffered from panic attacks. During the months ahead with chemo radiation losing my hair and then a second diagnosis I never had one panic attack. God was in control and I surrendered to him.
He also surrounded me with angels from my church community. People sometimes ask why going to church is important?
It’s important because we have times when we need and should lean on the body of Christ.
My community overflowed with an abundance of meals, housekeeping, trips to chemo and most importantly prayers for healing.
And I started receiving blessing in another way. I focused on what I could do to give back, I became an advocate and a spokesperson for American Cancer. I put together a tremendous team for Making Strides and I shaved my hair into a Mohawk and died it pink. I guess you could say I did the cancer before it could do me.
Just yesterday at a bridal shower a fellow survivor expressed to me that even after four years she was still mad as hell and bitter about the whole thing. That’s her right to take her own journey and deal with it the way she must. However, I must say to those who are facing the fight. “your anger and bitterness if not turned around into something positive, can be as detrimental to your health as the cancer.”
The Wendy Thompson Lending Team
Cancer is ugly, but it doesn’t have to steal your joy. For me it was a time that I found peace for the first time in my life. Was I in physical pain? Yes, did I get depressed and feel sorry for myself? I tried to, I am human, but every time, God brought me up and out of it. There is much work to be done. There is a fight to be won, and I am blazing a trail.
I can’t believe it’s just been a year. There is a part of me that wants to give in and be fearful of good things happening in my life. But then the whisper of the Angel reminds of me of who I am.
Pink Warrior and I am his.
Executive Recruiter at Austin Allen Professional Recruiting
Studied MRS at University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
You can join Allee Webb in her support of the American Cancer Society.
- Donate to the American Cancer Society
- Learn more about the American Cancer Society
- Follow the agency on Facebook
About the American Cancer Society
At the American Cancer Society, we’re on a mission to free the world from cancer. Until we do, we’ll be funding and conducting research, sharing expert information, supporting patients, and spreading the word about prevention. All so you can live longer — and better.
JustMyMemphis wants to thank the following groups for their help in making this music video: