By CLINT FOSTER
Life has a funny way of not going according to plan, not a human plan anyway. Bad things happen and we have to play the hands we are dealt, as the old saying goes. But if we trust in God, He can bring us through any trial and, like gold tested in fire, we can be molded and emerge far better than before.
That’s exactly what Carolyn Hickey has discovered throughout her seven month battle with breast cancer.
“It’s been a journey,” she said. “You don’t realize what cancer’s all about until you have it. There’s so much there. You have to do a lot of thinking, praying and reading. I couldn’t have made it without my friends, my family and the Lord. You have to have that support.”
Hickey, 71, had a mastectomy on her left breast after being diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer in April. Her specific type of cancer has caused her to undergo chemotherapy after the surgery, a process she will continue through November. In all, she said her cancer treatment is expected to last a full year.
Despite her reputation as a highly sociable person – Hickey’s family has owned and operated the North Oak Dairy Queen for 34 years – she said she was speechless when she first heard her diagnosis.
“You’re numb,” she said of the moment she heard the news. “I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t think. It absolutely shocks you so bad. You’re depressed. You do a lot of crying. But then you’ve got to keep yourself up, too, and I’ve tried real hard to keep going.”
As anyone might expect, cancer treatment was challenging for Hickey, to say the least. Rounds of chemo and surgery can take their toll on a body. But it was the little things that Hickey said she struggled with most.