I stumbled on a lump in my breast December 2009. My first thought was of my Grandmother Cardelia and how she struggled for a year and then died. I wanted to run and ignore it. I was so afraid. Cancer was such a big word and I did not know much about what it would do. All I knew is that it was out to take my life. I had been married for 18 years and we had a three year old. How could I leave them?
What was I going to do? After a week of denial, I told my husband that I found a lump. I made the appointment and the waiting game was on.
My doctor knew I was already on the edge and so she sent me to get a scan. I know that the lump was cancer but confirmation was all that I needed. The whole process took a long month and then I received the call and the words were spoken. “Yes Mrs. Donald, you have breast cancer. I believed my life was over. That is it I was only 39 and I was going to die. How could I make sure my family was set and would my three year old remember me? I had so much to teach her. How to tie her shoes, how to dress herself. I was going to miss so much. Was this fair? No one ever said life was fair.
After the confirmation my brother drove me home where I meet by my mother and sister. People came by and called it felt like I was at my own wake. I put on a smile but I heard nothing anyone was saying to me. The last call of the night was from my Father in law. His call changed the whole situation. The words he said were what I needed to hear. “Just because they told you it was cancer does not mean an automatic death sentence”. At this point I knew that life was going to different. I could finally live and music was my air. Before the cancer I had started to record some song that I had written. My first project was Genesis – my beginning. Little did I know that music holds so much more for me. While I took chemo treatments I still held on to music. I was encouraged to sing more and little by little I grew.
I started to write about my experience. The song title is, It's Not Over. The song is getting airplay and my intention is to let those who receive the diagnoses they dread, to make the connection that cancer is not the end. My time with cancer was my beginning. I started to let go of my fears of how people saw me. The most important thing was how did I see myself. The cancer forced me to look at Terrie, who was she?
I am a survivor! , singer, songwriter, wife, mother, sister, friend the best Terrie that God made me to be.
“cancer they said, a hard word to hear. Took hold and made me fear.” …...... it's not over don't give in, it's not over you will win.”...... Terrie Donald
The singe, “Its’ Not Over” is available on iTunes and Amazon.com.