I can remember the day in July of 2013, not many days after my 43rd birthday, waiting – in fear – to hear the results of my mammogram and biopsy. I could feel two lumps in my right breast and I allowed fear to hinder me from going to the doctor sooner. When I received the call from my PCP, I was driving home from work in a tumultuous rainstorm in the middle of rush hour traffic. My doctor said, “This would not be a good time to talk and to call meonce you make it home.” I remember telling my then husband of the conversation and thinking to myself this cannot be good news. Then the phone call came, the doctor said, “The results of your mammogram and biopsy does show you have breast cancer in your right breast.” My thoughts turned to my fourteen-year-old daughter. How am I going to tell her this news?
I began thinking, Lord I want to live, I want to see my daughter graduate from high school, I want to see her go to college, get married, and have children. I told the Lord I wanted to live.
The day it seemed the bottom had slipped from under me; all hell had broken loose in my life. The night I finally decided to tell my daughter about the breast cancer, I remember her trying to guess what the big news was; she gave three guesses before coming to the right answer. She guessed that I had cancer. And when I said yes; shebegan to cover her face and weep. I pulled her into my arms while she cried. I remember telling her, “I’m ok, I am going to get through this”.
I know at the age of fourteen, the last thing a child wants to hear is that their mother has cancer. I’m sure, through the tears, she could vaguely hear anything all she heard ringing in her ears and mind is that mom has breast cancer.
On that same night in August 2013, my husband and I got into a big argument which, for me, a decision to choose life or death had to be made. The argument escalated to the point in which I made the decision to leave my home and the mental decision to leave my marriage that night.
As the weeks continued to go by, before my first chemotherapy treatment, news came of the death of my beloved grandmother.
I made a decision to continue to stay strong and hold on to God. One early Friday morning in September of 2013, as I sat up in bed, I heard the Lord say, “You can kiss cancer goodbye because you are healed”. At that moment, I received what I heard from God, jumped out of the bed and did just what I heard God say do!
My last chemotherapy treatment was in January of 2014. I remember being so excited because now my hair began to grow back and I had accomplished a milestone in my fight against breast cancer. I was praising God because I knew He heard my prayers. God had moved in a miraculous way on my behalf.
I remember February 12, 2014, so clearly. Although I was ready to move into my next phase of healing, I was terrified at the same time. I was terrified of the fact that I was going to have surgery, terrified that I was losing my breast and didn’t know what to expect after surgery. However, after surgery the doctors informed me of some very good news. The test results from the breast tissue and the five lymph nodes that were removed all came back negative for breast cancer. This was the most exciting news I had heard in a long while. In my mind, I was now breast cancer free, I was a breast cancer survivor! I remembered the promise God had spoken to me, which was to “kiss cancer goodbye because I was healed.”
Known for her many accomplishments including talk show host, producer, author of four inspirational books, writer of inspirational poetry, articles, prayers, reflections and thematic plays, Winona has illuminated 3 key action steps that continue to transform important break-throughs in the lives of women! She declares that “With every storm, every challenge, we must make the decision to “live and not die” spiritually or emotionally. When fear stares us down, we must keep moving and take the fear with us until we overcome it! This means we must face our fears head-on without backing down. She had to Fight to become a survivor, which means fight the storms and the challenges on your life’s journey with your faith in God and the study of the Holy Bible and prayer as your weapons.
It is through the “Beautiful You on the Inside” workshops, that Winona is able to truly pour into and impart her faith, her strength, her courage, and the inspiration that only true a relationship with God can transform. Winona has helped to elevate women to new levels in their personal and professional lives by sharing keys to survival and success! CEO/Founder of the Successful Single Mom Foundation, she has witnessed first-hand the struggles, the pain, and the sacrifices birthed out of being a single mother. The goal for this foundation is to encourage and inspire mothers to rise above the challenges and know that raising a child(ren) and living a successful life is possible.
“Creating a Beautiful You, on the Inside”