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Oct 15

A TALE OF RESILIENCE

“It’s a battle,” said Mary Muller, 65. “Any type of cancer is a battle, physically and mentally. It’s a challenge, but my thing is that I try to think positive.”
Fifteen years ago, Muller was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“Well,” said Muller, “I had bilateral breast cancer, so I had it in both breasts, and I had two different types of cancer at the same time …”

Because Muller had two types of cancer, her treatments were very intense.

“I took all my treatments in the hospital and then I had to take radiation,” Muller said. “Chemotherapy is hard. It’s hard on your body, but I did not listen to what other people said happened because everybody’s body is different.”
For treatment, Muller stayed in the hospital for four months, alternating between one week at the facility and one week home. She also completed two months of radiation treatments.

“Radiation will zap your body,” Muller said.  “It makes your body extremely tired. It burns the skin; it makes it red like it’s sunburned.”

“I did a lot of praying,” Muller said remembering some of the scary treatment situations. “I just asked god everyday to give me the strength to make it through that day and I prayed that he could make the next day a little bit easier.”
Muller said in conjunction with her strong faith and positive attitude, she kept a diary to help her through the journey. Muller recommends people going through similar situations to keep a diary as well.

“It kind of helps you walk through everyday,” she said. Muller said she also had a very strong support group consisting of family and friends.

Aside from positivity, Muller believes early detection is the “name of the game.”

When first diagnosed, Muller said she had had a mammogram five months prior and the test results showed nothing.

Muller suggests women self-examine there breasts routinely, adding, “it’s something that should be done at least on a monthly basis.”

Many times, according to Muller, doctors can go remove all of the cancerous cells without a patient having to endure heavy treatment if they catch the disease before it spreads.

The avid gardener, whose backyard was featured in the June issue of Pensacola Home & Garden, was re-diagnosed with breast cancer in March. She currently isn’t taking treatment because doctors haven’t found the source.

“If I let it, it could work on me mentally,” Muller said. “But, I’m going to keep control of my mind. The disease itself can take control your body, but as long as I have control of my mind, I’m okay.”

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