Delandra “Dee Dee” Grey
My name is DeLandra and my journey began the day I was giving myself a self-examination. I have always done breast self-exams because of my extensive family history of breast cancer. I found a lump the last week of September 2012 and immediately scheduled an appointment with my gynecologist, Dr. Lynch. I had been getting mammograms and ultrasounds yearly since the age of 35 without any abnormalities.
On October 9, 2012 I had a biopsy performed on my right breast that came back positive for Stage 2 invasive breast cancer. I must admit that just hearing the words “cancer” and “surgery” from Dr. Zuckerman, it felt as if my heart stopped beating. I am a person of disguise when it comes to expressing my emotions publicly, fearing that it would give me the appearance of being weak; so as poised as possible, I listened to my doctor as he told me the steps that I would be taking from that day forward.
I had surgery December 19th on my 43rd birthday. This date to me was a chance at life again. I opted for a double mastectomy with reconstruction by Dr. Fusi. The surgery went well with the removal of a lymph node also in the process. I knew it would be successful because my only sister, Tamja, who is six years older than I, underwent the same procedure by the same doctors for Stage 1 non-invasive breast cancer of the right breast. Her surgery was the day before her birthday in 2006, also at the age of 43. Coincidence or not, I am following the path of my older sister. Be that as it may, the Grey girls are strong and we will survive.
I then focused on my world that consisted of my daughter named Faith. At the age of four, she is my strength and I knew I had to overcome this for her well-being. The love for a child and the love from a child of God can get you through any obstacles placed before you.
My fight continues with treatments that I will undergo every month for five years, enduring all the side effects and still remaining thankful. I am a very private person but I know sometimes hearing the story of someone else can possibly help another rise above something that they may be combatting in life. Everything happens for a reason even reasons we may not know, so I thank God for bringing me thus far.
My family is my rock, especially my sister who always loves to give me counsel which was truly needed and continues to be needed; my mother and father for their love and comfort at each and every appointment then and now; as for my daughter’s father, Courtney, words could never express how much I truly appreciate the care that he gave me, and continues to give me, from day one of this battle; and finally, my Wynter family — my aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, church family (St. Mathews), co-workers (Comcast), and Prince Hall Masonic Family. I am grateful for my aunt Loretta who supported me with weekly, sometimes daily, cards that were heartfelt and for Mrs. Wynter, my daughter’s Grandmother, also a survivor, for the calls that were always uplifting. I truly thank them all for the words of encouragement and the prayers that they continue to bestow upon me.
Matthew 17:20 King James Version (KJV) And Jesus said unto them, “Because of your unbelief; for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, ‘Remove hence to yonder place,’ and it shall remove. And nothing shall be impossible unto you.”