Lifelines: Jenny Frith’s Testimony
**OCOAH recognizes breast cancer awareness this month with stories from local families who have walked through it. We praise God for how He heals, restores and comforts.
Before I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I really did not understand the impact that it has on a woman. I would see the pink ribbons, the races, the t-shirts and I thought, “Well, that’s cute.” I never realized the effect and the impact that breast cancer has on a woman deep down. Immediately you think about your family. A flash goes through your mind of your children and your husband without you. As a mom, you want to be there. You want to help teach your son how to treat a lady and make sure his clothes match. You want to hold your daughters during a bad break up and cry with them because when they hurt- you hurt. You want to see your children graduate and get married. You want to grow old with your husband and have the marvelous opportunity to hold your precious grandchildren one day. These are the dreams of a woman… a mother.
Once you push those fears down, strength begins to build inside of you because you realize you will do whatever it takes to not let cancer win. The fight is for your family. Breast cancer then throws another punch at you. The impact of the physical changes to your body are very real. Please know I do not consider myself vain and I do not believe that breasts define a woman, but the changes still affected me. I was diagnosed with ductal cell carcinoma at the age of 35. They saw a mass in my right breast and calcifications and changes to my left breast. I would need to have a double mastectomy with no “nipple sparing” which means they take everything you have. You are left flat with scars. No areola, no nipples, just skin and scars.
I remember the day after surgery, my surgeon came in to remove my dressings on my chest and I did not even look down. I focused on my husband who stood by the doctor and I intently watched his expressions. My husband looked at my chest, nodded and smiled his sweet smile and said, “Babe, it looks good.” I remember clinging to his precious words and a relief came over me. Deep down at my core, I needed to see his face. I needed to see him support me and still call me, “Beautiful.” The following day in the hospital, my husband helped me up to go to the bathroom so I could see myself in the mirror. He undid my gown and I just stared at the new me. I teared up for a minute and then I just started thanking God for my life and my family. My scars would not define me. They were scars that would help remind me of how precious life is and how God has blessed me- as my husband says, “They are your Lifelines.”
Breast cancer is a battle. Anytime you go into a battle you need to be whole and strong. I just kept thinking that this did not take God by surprise so He would use this in mighty ways for His glory. That gave me such comfort. Even through painful times, I thought, “Ok God, you apparently think I’m strong enough to take this,” and He would give me strength to fight. I remember one night I was up at 3am and I had just come home from another surgery. I was propped up on a couch in the den and my husband slept on the other couch so he could be near me. The pain medication had made me feel really nauseated, so I stopped taking it the day before. I started hurting and I didn’t want to wake up my husband because I knew he was emotionally and physically exhausted. I just started praying and thanking God for all He had done for me. I thanked Him for my family, my friends, my neighbors, my church family, and for my life.
That morning I received a phone call from one of my dearest friends. She said that God had woke her up and put me on her mind at 3am. She said she had started praying over me and wanted to know if I was ok. I had to smile as I told her how I had been up at 3am hurting and we just talked about how wonderful God is and how He provides for us. God kept showing out. I remember the medical bills started piling up and with us only being one income now, we were trusting God to provide. He did just that. My husband came in one day and was tearing up and handed me a note that was in the mail. Someone had paid a bill for us anonymously that was over 1,000.00. I just started crying. We still don’t know who that was, but I pray God blesses them ten fold for what they did for my family.
People started showing up with meals which was such a blessing! Seeing my friends was amazing and seeing the relief on my husband’s face knowing he didn’t have to worry about cooking for everyone was an even greater blessing. The cards, phone calls, e-mails, and flowers were awesome too. Another great blessing was that my mom was able to come up and stay for a couple of weeks to help do errands and get the kids to school. God is so faithful and He truly provided for us!
I know that through my experience fighting breast cancer and I’m so blessed to say I’m a “SURVIVOR”, my family and I drew closer to God. You feel His presence in a mighty way. He is there for you. I think we get so busy and wrapped up in life’s fast pace, that we don’t take the time to seek Him. He says to seek Him with all of your heart and you will find Him. He loves us so much. I thank Him for ALL that He has done for me and how He was before me, with me, and behind me every step of the way. I pray that I glorify Him every day of my life- He is so worthy of our praise!
1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
I love the verse in Jeremiah 29:11 where it talks about how God wants to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you hope and a FUTURE. I love this verse because God loves us. He loved us enough to send his son, Jesus, to die for us. God did not give me cancer, but He did allow it. The battle definitely made my family stronger and made my faith stronger. God is amazing and I’m so grateful for His love, His grace, His mercy, and His healing.
Father God, I pray for those who are in the battle. I pray that you wrap your mighty arms around them and give them strength, comfort, and peace. I pray they feel Your presence in such a mighty way that they are never the same. I pray for their family. I pray that you provide for them and give them peace as they help their loved one fight this battle. I pray that you give them all a mighty testimony. Father, I pray that you heal those that are battling cancer. Isaiah 53:5 says that by Your stripes we are healed and we claim that in Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.
About the Author:
I am married to my high school sweetheart whom I adore. We have been married for 18 years. We have 3 children. Wil is 14, Emily is 13, and Audrey is 7. They are godly kids and I thank God for my family. We attend Flint River Baptist Church and we love doing mission work. I am a Registered Nurse and work part-time for Madison County Schools and I love helping kids see their value. My husband is an Aerospace Engineer and works at Redstone Arsenal.