Faith guides cancer survivor in her quest for good health

Published 11:09 am Monday, February 16, 2015

Rosie Lee Hanley Barrett, a 69-year-old mother and grandmother, went in for her regular checkup three years ago. She had a mammogram as part of her regular routine and was called back in the doctor’s office for an additional test, a sonogram.

Barrett got dressed and waited for the technician to come in and talk to her about the results. When the technician came into the room she spoke in a calm manner. She told Barrett they had found a small lump the size of a pencil eraser, which could very well be nothing serious.

“I was convinced it wasn’t malignant and wasn’t worried. Within a few days I went for the biopsy. A few days later I had an appointment to check the area that had been biopsied just to make sure it was healing properly. My friend, Gloria, insisted she come with me, and thank God she did. Just as I was getting ready, to leave the report came back from my biopsy,” said Barrett.

The smiling face, which had spoken to Barrett moments before, had turned somber. When Barrett found out that she had a malignancy she felt like she was in a daze. The ride home was silent, as she could not think of one thing she wanted to say.

The next Sunday Barrett went to church and found her friend who had been undergoing chemo for breast cancer. The friend encouraged Barrett to see her surgeon and opt for reconstructive surgery as she had done.

According to Barrett, “Her surgeon wasn���t in my insurance network, so I looked further. All the while I was asking God to intervene and show me the path to take.

“I found my surgeon and plastic surgeon. They were ready to work together.

I went for several visits, and on my last visit before my surgery I noticed a book in the waiting room. As I read it I felt that the Lord was leading me. I decided not to have reconstruction surgery due to possible complications and infection risks. My husband, Howard, has been totally supportive of my decision, and today we share the same beautiful life together that we have for many years. We are thankful for each new day.

“The path I took may not be the correct path for everyone, but for me it was right. I spent much time in prayer. I felt such peace that I just knew I was making the right decision.

“In my battle with cancer I have learned to have a more health-conscious lifestyle. I depend on my faith in God more than ever before. I am so fortunate to have a wonderful Christian oncologist who agrees with my philosophy that healing is so much more than surgery and medicine. It has a great deal to do with my faith in God and the assurance that I can trust Him with my life and life’s decisions.

“I have always depended on God’s guidance, but in the face of cancer and the decisions I had to make, I came to a clearer understanding of His love and power. Now I have the confidence that no matter what I face God will carry me through.”