Breast cancer survivor Willie Vereen says ... "Give it your very best shot."
Four years ago, Willie Vereen of Florence picked up the phone and received some news that no one wants to hear.\ “
My regular doctor called me one afternoon and told me, ‘I’m sorry to tell you this, but your biopsy came back cancerous,’” recalled Vereen. “They didn’t suggest me taking chemotherapy, but radiation. I ended up having 33 treatments of radiation.
” Vereen said the news was both overwhelming and scary at first, but the doctors, medical personnel, and staff at McLeod Health quickly put her at ease.
“I’ve always heard people say, ‘the C word. Oh, that’s a word you can always get,’” said Vereen. “It never felt that way to me. Everybody that God put in my path assured me that they were going to take care of me. I really feel like they did.
” Surprisingly enough, as the weeks turned into months, Vereen actually found herself at times looking forward to going to get her radiation treatments.
“I had the best doctors in the world,” she said. “I love them. They really did take care of me. And all the people that worked there took care of me. You know, there were times I actually looked forward to going there.
” Vereen said it is important for people to understand that because of medical advancements, being diagnosed with cancer is no longer the ‘death sentence” that it once was.
“There is so much good treatment now,” said Vereen. “Don’t think that because you’ve got cancer you’re going to drop dead.
You give it the best fight you’ve got
.” She said her own breast cancer diagnosis opened her eyes to the large number of people who are battling cancer. “
I looked in the waiting room and saw all these people there,” she said. “I thought, wow, cancer sure does affect a lot of people. I just feel for people that didn’t have the kind of support that I had and the good doctors that I had, because I had the best.
” In the end, Vereen thanks God for looking over her. She now has an even greater appreciation for the blessings of each and every day and doesn’t plan to waste another minute.
“God sent the right people in my life and I believe that,” she said. “Four years down the line, I’m still here and I’ve had a good life. And I plan to have some more.”