My name is Bev Cwalina. I was first diagnosed with very early-stage I breast cancer in May 2015. After I had a lumpectomy and 33 radiation treatments, I thought that was the end because no type of cancer runs in my family. I lived my life as if cancer had never existed.
Three years after my initial diagnosis, I was diagnosed with stage III triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). Although a TNBC diagnosis is scary, I knew that God had a plan for my life and I needed to seek out other cancer survivors to support me and whom I could, in turn, encourage with my story.
My TNBC tumor was in the scar tissue of my initial breast cancer, so by the time it was discovered in May 2018, it was very large (8cm x 8cm). I went through aggressive chemotherapy and had a single mastectomy followed by reconstruction. In 2019, while taking Xeloda, a chemotherapy pill commonly given to TNBC patients to hopefully prevent recurrence, I developed an infection and lost my implant. Previously radiated skin often has trouble healing, and my incision did not heal for seven months. During this time, I also developed an intussuscepted bowel which required emergency surgery, and I am about to have a large nodule and half of my thyroid removed.
In John 16:33, Jesus says “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Cancer has given me many troubles, but I have peace in my life no matter what happens due to my faith in Jesus Christ. I love connecting with fellow cancer survivors to share peace, joy, and support.