Written by: Kayla Breitenbach
You have cancer.
3 words that you don’t expect to hear at age 20. These words changed my life forever, but the Lord was in it all.
In 2015, I was a sophomore at UK pursuing a nursing degree. I had transferred from University of the Cumberlands because of my interest in nursing and felt the Lord calling me to UK. Second semester hit and I immediately knew I did not want to continue pursuing a nursing degree. I just didn’t see myself doing it for the rest of my life, so I switched to an elementary education major.
Towards the end of the semester, I felt a sinus infection coming on and went to the doctor to hopefully get some medication. While there, she started feeling around on my neck, and I could tell in her face that something was not right. She felt that my thyroid was enlarged. She ordered some labs and said we would see what the levels said. The levels came back elevated so I got an ultrasound. They ended up finding a 2 cm nodule on my thyroid. Because of that, they wanted to do a biopsy to figure out what was going on. The biopsy was uncomfortable, as you could imagine. The lady said it looked benign, but we would get the results in a few days.
2 days passed and I didn’t hear anything, which I thought was strange. Turns out my doctor had called my mom and told her the news. My family ended up showing up to my apartment out of the blue and told me. I was going to have to have surgery. The results showed suspicious cells. Immediately, my mind thought the worst. This is cancer. I could possibly die from this. We all sat on my bed and cried and hugged each other.
We met with the surgeon not long after and he basically told us he was 80-90% sure that it was cancerous, so he was going to remove all of my thyroid. Cancer at 20. What? I could not wrap my mind around that. Was this really happening? And during FINALS???
After meeting with the surgeon, I was so upset. Upset that God was allowing this to happen. Why me?? I’m only 20, God. Why did my family have to go through this?? I was mad. I was angry.
Later that night, I remember sitting in my bed, angry and confused, trying to figure out how this was all going to play out. And then I realized- I couldn’t. And I was going to stress myself out trying to. Only God could get me through this. At that moment I surrendered. “God, I can’t keep trying to figure out how all of this is going to play out. Only You know. Only You can give me the strength. Let’s do this together, God. You and me. I release this situation to You.”
And y’all... after that surrender, I had this peace and joy about everything. I knew He had it. He was going to give me the strength to get through this. And He did just that. Throughout it all, I had so much peace. Peace beyond all understanding. That only comes from God. I learned that the circumstance might not be peaceful, but you could have peace in the midst of the circumstance.
I had the surgery and they confirmed that it was indeed cancer and I was going to have to have scans and treatment every so often. In July 2018, they confirmed that the scan was clear and there was no more disease that they could find! Praise the Lord! I recently had a scan last July that came back clear, so I won't have to have another scan for 3 years!
Throughout all of this, I grew immensely in my faith. I learned to lay down my pride and surrender. I knew if the Lord could get me through this, He could get me through anything! What the devil meant to harm me, God used it for good!
Anything you may be going through, God is greater. He can give you strength and peace in the most unimaginable circumstances. He is peace. Run to Him!
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