North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL


October 9, 2008

‘Attitude of gratitude’ still intact after cancer battles

Mount Olive Seniors By Dixie Kuykendall

The North Jefferson News

October is breast cancer awareness month and I decided to write in a little different vein this week. I would like to share with you my journey with cancer.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 1995, and I was not happy about it. As a matter of fact, I was just a little bitter.

My pastor sat in my kitchen talking with me and I asked him, “Why me?”

He looked me right in the eye and said, “Why not you, Dixie?”

“Well,” my mind silently responded, “because I’m a good person. I go to church, I teach Sunday school, I tithe, I abide by all the commandments (most of the time) and besides all that, my mother is getting worse daily with Alzheimer’s disease. I have a little granddaughter who needs me, not to mention my very important job.”

I needed a scripture, a promise, something just for me from God’s word to hold onto. The verse given to me was Isaiah 43:1-2: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you.”

Now I knew this was written just for me. I don’t swim a lick and I’m scared to death of deep water. I wrote my name in my Bible. “Fear not, Dixie, for I have redeemed you — I call you by your name and I will not let the waters get over your head.”

My Sunday school class gave me a beautiful angel; I named him “Isaiah” and took him along with me to the hospital. I knew that he would remind me of God’s promise to me.

I must have quoted my “promise” verse 50 times going into surgery. My daughter had placed Isaiah on the bedside table so that I could easily see him when I woke up.

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