My Journey Through Cancer - Behind the Mask 4

Moments of Weakness 


I do not proclaim to be an individual with great strength. God has always been my source of strength…only God.  I've gone through many trials and initially thought God was working against me. He wanted me to hurt. He wanted me to fail.  What God would load this many undesired situations on one person? I came to realize that through my weakness God was at work. My prior hardships allowed me to see God in my life. If I created a mess, there He was to clean it up. If life, itself created a mess, there He was to clean it up. I could never get through any of my adversities without Him.

My piece Damaged Goods in my book of the same title, "Damaged Goods," expresses adversities of individuals going through different situations. During rehearsals for my book signing someone said the female could actually be one person. Little did they know it was one person, that one person was me. Those prior adversities are why I never questioned God on why I must take a journey with cancer. I'm taking it knowing that He'll carry me at my weakest moments.

One of my weakest moments occurred last Thursday when my hairstylist said, "Toni, did they say anything about your hair coming out?" I replied, "No." She handed me the braid she'd just taken out. In a stunned voice I replied, "Hey! That's my hair in this braid." "Maybe it's the braids, huh?" In a somber tone she replied, "Naw Toni, it's not the braids." "It's smooth." I immediately reached for the back of my head,  tears,  and emotions overwhelmed me. The back of my head was smooth as a baby's behind. My hairstylist and I sat there in tears as her mother-in-law filled the air with the words, "In Jesus name!" Once I regained my composure I called my doctor inquiring about the hair loss. I  revisited my memories of my doctor visits and there was no mentioning of possible hair loss. I quickly went to Google and under side effects was hair loss. Only the area receiving radiation was affected but, I was still devastated to say the least. All this time I thought my hair was safe because I wasn't receiving chemo. I can only hope that I get a better grade of hair when it grows back.

Secondly, I've lost weight at rapid speed. A healthier me would probably celebrate, but the current me does not. I never realized the significance of the smallest of things such as taste buds. No taste buds means no taste receptors means no flavor meaning your desire to eat decreases. Yay!!! But no! Too much weight loss means lack of nutrition meaning my body will heal slower and the results will be a feeding tube. The idea of a feeding tube should be enough to make anyone eat. However, the changes in your taste, decrease and thickening of your saliva, and fatigue makes it difficult. The weird textures and smells do not make it any easier to place food against your lips. Even when your support group encourages you to eat, it becomes easier said than done.

Lastly, this week has brought on agonizing pain and itching! My neck appears to be badly sunburned with a rash and some of the skin has peeled off.  It looks and feels a hot mess! The pain has forced me to increase my intake of pain medicine. Some moments I don't know if I'm coming or going. One moment the pain is in my mouth, next it's around my neck, then in my jaw and finally it disappears and comes back again. Roaming pain, it doesn't have a specific home…go figure. It's difficult for me to hide.  My facial expressions often tell the story of my pain. My thoughts are to hide behind closed doors. But, I question that logic because,  if I'm out of sight would that pose more worry? The pain after surgery and current pain are some of my weakest moments. Yet, I know this shall pass and He'll carry me through.

Isaiah 40:29-31 NIV: "He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."


After weeks of radiation I've lost hair in the back of my head & sunburned and rash covered neck.


September 13, 2016 @02:16 pm
Toni, my friend, thank you for sharing so openly and intimately your journey through cancer. I believe it's just that...a journey THROUGH, and on the other side is healing, wholeness, great hair (smile) and all the blessings and love you can stand. My prayers are with you sister. Much love! Camille
September 13, 2016 @01:58 pm
Keep fighting....I'm praying you! God bless you and your family! Shawantra Lee
September 12, 2016 @08:33 pm
Toni, You're amazing!! Keep fighting and sharing. Your hair will grow back thicker and I'm praying the pain will come less. If you're in Dallas inbox me. I would love to come visit. Love you girl and praying for your strength. Avis Terrell
September 12, 2016 @07:39 pm
Well...I'm behind you... Proud of you... Support you in your fight and recovery I find comfort in knowing that God is in control. I learned this verse 2 months ago to Speak life into myself and others. I challenge you to do the same.. Luke 4:18 We all going through storms Coming our of one Or About to go into ine. It's important that the spirit and faith in us succeeds the forces of fear around us. We Love you And are a click or text away. Be Strong, T Terrell G Edwards

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