Phyllis Ceasar: Breast Cancer Survivor
With help from her family, friends and Kelsey-Seybold support group, Phyllis is staying positive and living through breast cancer.
“On Christmas Eve in 2009, I received a phone call and was diagnosed positive for breast cancer. I was so devastated, I could not confide in anyone. I really didn’t want to put my family through the pain. My son was at war in Iraq, I was going to be laid off from my job, my daughter wanted to move to Houston to live with me, and it was the Christmas holidays.”
Phyllis Ceasar received her diagnosis of breast cancer on Christmas Eve 2009, but she was able to stay positive with the help of her family and Kelsey-Seybold’s Breast Cancer Support Group. Now in remission, things are looking better than ever for Phyllis.
“In November 2009, my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Finding out he had to begin taking his radiation treatments starting in January 2010 was very upsetting to my family. At that time, my family did not know about me seeing numerous doctors starting in September 2009 because my mammogram was abnormal.
“By the time I saw doctor number three, I was tired and needed a biopsy. When that test returned, it was positive. I was so devastated I could not confide in anyone. I was recommended to see Dr. Jonathan Nelson at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic to make a comparison of the other doctor’s diagnosis. Dr. Nelson performed the same tests as the other doctors and received the same diagnosis.
“After New Year’s Day, I gathered my family together to inform them of my diagnosis and the scheduled surgery for January 2010. The reason I did not tell anyone in my family when I found out is because I wanted everyone to enjoy their holidays. At the time of my diagnosis, I was only able to confide in one special friend. In January 2010, I had a right breast mastectomy.
“A month after my surgery, I was unemployed and having complications from the surgery. While I was off from work, I was encouraged by a friend to join the Kelsey-Seybold Breast Cancer Support Group. I’m glad I did. I’ve met a wonderful group of women who are going through the same things I am – and more. I learned sitting at home alone and feeling sorry for myself was not the answer. Currently, I am still in the group, although I’m in remission.
“I prayed to God for him to open doors for me, give me a job that I would enjoy, bring my son home safely from Iraq, make my daughter a stronger woman, closer to me and change my life to give me strength so that I can move forward. By me trusting in him, he opened doors and showered me with all the blessings I asked for – and for that I am so grateful.
“I also found out through my illness and surgeries that God has made me and my daughter stronger women today. I thought I did not have to listen to my daughter when she was trying to take care of me, but I was wrong. She was so tough and I thank her for that. I really do think my daughter, mother and sisters teamed up on me to make me push harder to want to keep surviving. Today, my family still pushes me to fight and I really do enjoy and appreciate the encouragement.
“I am thankful for God, my family, close friends and the Kelsey-Seybold Breast Cancer Support Group. Without them, I really don’t know how I would be doing today.
“I’m elated to share my story and hope it will inspire women with breast cancer to fight and fight hard. Before my journey, two of my very special aunts had passed with breast cancer. I was talking to my mother and told her, ‘I am your oldest daughter and the only one diagnosed with this disease.’ I asked ‘why me?’ She said, ‘God chose my strong angel and for this I am thankful and also thankful you are still here with us today!’ My father thinks I am still his baby girl that should not be working so hard at different things. I have to tell him, ‘I’m thankful I’m living and I’m surviving!’”