“I know that God gives us nothing that He truly thinks we cannot handle”
My name is Tamja and in June of 2006 I was informed that a biopsy that was performed on my right breast came back positive for cancer. I was informed by my oncologist that this was going to be a very simple procedure to remove a cluster of what she called cancerous cells that were in just stage one.
Although I must admit that just hearing the words cancer and surgery and months of radiation treatment everyday had been the most traumatizing words I had ever heard, I still was positive and believed that as my doctor said and I would have my lumpectomy in late June. I would be out of work for about two weeks and back to me and my regular life.
So the surgery happened as scheduled. My recovery time was two weeks. I went to see my oncologist for the OK to return to work but those were not the words I heard. I heard instead that they were unable to clear all the cancer. Unfortunately I was going to be rescheduled for a second lumpectomy in just a week’s time. I was told this one should do it.
But even after the second operation there still was cancer. My final surgery ended up being August 11, 2006 – one day before my birthday – and my fate was a double mastectomy.
The worst thing I feel any women could hear was she has breast cancer and that both breasts have to be removed. I did everything possible to stay positive. I focused on graduate school, doing papers and exams in between surgeries.
I finally returned to work full time the last of October 2006, even though many told me it was too soon. I finished my internship for graduate school and my final year even after many told me to stop and finish the next year. I am happy to say that I graduated, on time, on May 15th of 2007!
I continue to work full time at Connecticut Mental Health Center as a Masters of Social Work clinician. As of this date I am still free of cancer and when my three-month checkups come around, I work hard at maintaining my faith and continuing to be positive knowing that God will be by my side.
I consider my self a very strong individual and I know that God gives us nothing that He truly feels we can not handle. So I give thanks to my lord and savior for bringing me thus far.
I also give heart-felt love and thanks to my sister Dee Dee, who was my nurse after the visiting nurses had left; to my mother who never left my side all those months; to my father, who without his humor, there would not had been much laughter; and to my 8- year-old son Brandon who is my focus and my reason for needing to survive.
I cannot say thanks enough to my many friends from a lifetime before and friends for a lifetime to come; my church family at St. Matthews, co-workers, Eastern Stars, classmates and family members who stayed with me through it all.
And I will never forget those that are truly special and loved me continuously and unconditionally. To Dr. Zuckerman my oncologist surgeon and Dr. Fusi my plastic surgeon – I never doubted for a minute that they both would not take good care of me. It was a blessing to have their expertise and to Dr. Fusi, thanks for the new me. His gift and expertise was a blessing.