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My Cancer Journey by Nneka “Niki” Canser

When my doctor said those six words, “Ms. Canser, you have breast cancer”, I was frozen.  How could I have breast cancer?  I was feeling good, I was only 38 with, a 7 year old son, a successful career, and I felt great.  This just didn’t add up to CANCER.  When I thought of cancer, I always pictured someone older, and someone that was sickly.  I was feeling pretty good!  My doctor’s words just totally numbed me.  I didn’t know if I was going to be okay.  I didn’t know if I was going to live or die.  Never in a million years did I think I would be affected by “The Big C”.  I mean really, what was I supposed to do with a diagnosis of Stage IV cancer with a tumor in my breast and in my T-4 vertebrae (back/spine area).  How do I process this, how do I beat this, is this it for me and my life? I had a million questions that no one could answer.  The one question I chose not to ask was, why me Lord, because I figured, why not me.  I knew that the only answer to my questions was in the Lord.  My mother and I began praying with a purpose and assembling my medical team. We did not know a great deal about what to do when you are diagnosed with cancer, but we learned quickly. We gathered together what we felt was a superior team of doctors and I began treatment immediately.

Fast forward 3 and a half years later to Sept 2013, I have been through four and a half months of chemotherapy, three different bouts of radiation, 4 surgeries, 2 biopsies, and countless MRI’s, PET scans, CT scans, blood test, IV treatments and the list goes on.

All through this journey I had been researching alternative cancer treatment.  I really didn’t have too many more body parts to give up so I decided to keep researching alternative treatments.  The name that I kept stumbling upon was Dr. Stainslaw Burzynski.  I had watched a documentary about him.   My mother and aunt had read some of his research and we decided that we were interested in his approach.  He practices and runs his clinic in Houston, Texas.  After several phone calls, much research, and application, I decided that I was going to visit the clinic.    My mother, my son, and I traveled to Houston, Texas in May of 2013, to receive treatment at the Burzynski Clinic.  My experience was very positive.  We are quite optimistic about my treatment and I started on the medication while in Houston.  I tolerated the medication well and was released from the clinic with orders to continue the medication for 8 months to a year.  Of course the financial burden of my Burzynski visit and ongoing medication is a heavy one.  I was blessed enough to have a wonderful mother, family, and friends that contributed to my medical treatment.  However it just wasn’t enough to cover the cost. My medication alone has a price tag of $4500.00 a month.  That’s over $50,000. for a year of treatment.  While I do have some money saved, it is nowhere near the $50,000 price tag that I’m facing.  So now I continuously fundraise in order to stay on my medication.  Life for me now is day by day, hour by hour, and minute by minute.  Faith in Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior is holding me up.  Even though I have this devastating disease in my body, my spiritual and mental state is growing stronger everyday.  I have a new frame of mind and I am open to a whole new way of thinking.  A friend of mine going through her own breast cancer journey told me, “Niki the Lord is not going have you here one more day than you are supposed to be”.  To me, this means I won’t be here one day less either. I walk by faith and not by sight.  As uncertain as this may sound to some, I’ve never been more confident in my recovery and my future.  To God Be The Glory!