Debbie Drake



I had breast cancer. I don’t have it anymore. I am a survivor. I was diagnosed in May of this year. I always did self-exams and had annual mammograms. I had a mammogram in January of this year and received my letter that there was “no evidence of malignancy.”

Still, on April 14th I had a dream and in this dream my mother, who died when I was 12 years old of colon cancer, was demonstrating to me how and where to check for a breast lump. She was fully clothed, she did not speak, but looked at me intently while moving her hand over her breast in the spot where I found the lump in my own breast. In the dream, I found the lump and I immediately woke up. I sighed with relief that it was only a dream.

Then I reached down and felt my breast and the lump was there! I subsequently had a fine needle aspiration, lumpectomy, and mastectomy with lymph node dissection. Nine lymph nodes were removed and there was no cancer in any of them, nor in any other part of the breast that was removed. I also had a body scan and bone scan and both were negative. That is why I say I am a survivor even though I am recently diagnosed. I know that I have survived breast cancer.

Because the tumor was a Grade III, which is a very fast- growing and aggressive tumor, my oncologist recommended 4 cycles of chemotherapy every 21 days. I agreed to this because if there is even one cancer cell hiding in my body, I want to destroy it! I just finished up my second cycle. My hair has fallen out and the first week after chemo is a challenge, but I am rebounding well the second and third weeks and feel blessed that God allowed me to have the dream and the tumor was found. Even though the tumor was aggressive,

I see that as a blessing also because it grew large enough quickly so that it was found before it could spread to the lymph nodes or anywhere else. I try to find the positive in this negative of cancer. My life has changed and I treasure every moment with my husband and children and new grandbaby. I know that I spent many years taking my health for granted and can now say that I will spend the rest of my life making sure that all who know me understand how grateful I am to have been given a second chance. I have also been blessed with friends, family, and total strangers who have prayed for me and I know that prayers are powerful.

We all have a responsibility to help others and I know that this experience has renewed in me and my family our desire to make a difference in someone else’s life who may be faced with this disease or other challenge.