My name is Lela Hicks. In 1991 I moved from Detroit, Michigan to Las Vegas, Nevada – my present home after retiring from the Internal Revenue Service.
I love to travel and that was my goal. However, God sometimes has other plans for us. I had been living in Las Vegas one year when one evening, while taking a shower, I felt a lump in my right breast. I had neglected to get my yearly mammogram and reluctantly waited two weeks before seeing my doctor, hoping my discovery would go away.
My doctor recommended a surgeon who performed a needle biopsy. When the results of the biopsy were reviewed, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. At that moment I felt my life was over and I started to cry. She (the doctor) told me my options and left the room leaving me to make a decision that would change my life forever. I was single, 65 years old and wanted to live. I chose a mastectomy followed by 12 treatments of chemotherapy. I had surgery on August 16, 1992 – four days before my birthday. I spent three days in the hospital and, after being discharged, I returned to my daily routine – up and about tending to my daily chores. I started chemotherapy in October, and in November I got a job at United Blood Service. I finished my treatment in February 1993. The oncologist told me that I needed no more medication. I worked for seven years and then retired again. No longer interested in traveling, I took up the hobby of floral arranging. I have always had a strong belief in God, so each morning I read the Bible and meditate.
I thank God for 14 years of being cancer free and my daily prayer is to never let cancer invade my body again. I do not ask God for things, I ask for good health and longevity. I am 78 years old, and I have a fun job. I tell others about having faith.
I am also grateful for a niece Dolly and her daughter and son, who were always there for me while I was going through my illness. I have no children, but lots of good family and friends and, above all, God.