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Brenda Stephenson: God's Grace & Mercy Will See You Through

My name is Brenda M. Stephenson. I remember vividly, August 2000. I had become a committed member of the step aerobics class in the gym. I did not smoke. I did not drink. Things were going well. One day, I was working out and suddenly, I felt dizzy. My aerobics instructor explained to me that she thought I had overexerted myself, and advised me to lay on the floor and elevate my knees to my chest. I followed her instructions. The following Wednesday, I decided to try working out again. I was having a great workout when suddenly, once again, I became very warm and nearly passed out. I called my family doctor and scheduled an appointment. He examined me and told me my blood pressure was good, and explained that I needed to hydrate my body. I was obedient, and did so. A couple of weeks later, I had gotten out of the shower, and decided to examine my breast. I thought I felt a small lump in my right breast. I checked the following day, it wasn’t there. The following week, I noticed discoloration near the top of my right breast. Keep in mind, I was thirty-nine years old at the time. I was awaiting my first mammogram at the age of forty. I called my primary doctor once more and made an appointment.

He recommended me to a breast specialist, Dr. Claire Carmen in Norfolk Virginia. What a knowledgeable woman! She had me x-rayed, administered a biopsy, and informed me that I had stage 3 Breast Cancer. Not once did I cry or question the Lord, “Why me?”, My faith in the Lord is very strong. I strongly believe by God’s stripes, we are healed.” After receiving x-rays, Dr. Carmen called me in and explained to me what was transpiring in my body. She stated, in so many words, this is where the cancer is and these are the procedures we need to take. I was ready to take this journey with the Lord, and Dr. Claire Carmen. I was administered eight cycles of chemotherapy, and six weeks of radiation. Because of God’s Grace and Mercy, I am still here. Breast cancer doesn’t mean a death sentence!!  Acceptance and having faith in the Lord brought me through!!

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