Sixty-nine-year-old Judy Ray, of Lafayette, who is the wife of Willie Ray, found a lump in her breast in 2012, and she didn’t go to the doctor because she was afraid to.
It finally got so big that she had to see a physician and after a biopsy she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“After the biopsy came back malignant, the doctor sent me to have a cat scan to see if the cancer had spread anywhere else,” Judy said as we sat talking one day last week. “Unfortunately, it had gone to my lungs and they took off part of my right lung on March 8, 2012 at St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville,” she said.
“I had to have chemo every week for a year to shrink the tumor in my breast and then the doctor removed it during surgery,” said Judy. “I did pretty good with that until the port got infected.”
The infection had spread throughout Judy’s body and they took the port out on March 26 at UMC in Lebanon. “Everything went well until 18 months later and I started having headaches in the back of my head, which I never have. I quickly realized something wasn’t right because nothing would ease the pain.”
“I went to the doctor and she gave me medication for the headaches, however, she knew my history with cancer and she called my chemo doctor who ordered an MRI,” she continued. “I had it done and they called and informed me that I needed to come back in.”
The physician told Judy that it was a tumor, but it was operable and they could take it off. “I wasn’t really scared, and I guess these experiences were making me a stronger person, which helped me prepare for the next hurtle ,” Judy explained. “The hospital arrangements were made and I underwent surgery again on Thursday, September 18, 2014. The doctor told my family that it was malignant and I would have to have radiation treatments.”
Judy isn’t sure how many treatments she will need yet because she hasn’t gotten that far. “I’m blessed they were able to remove the tumor, which the doctor said was the size of a golf ball. If I hadn’t of had the headache, I would have never known it.”
“Everyone needs to pay attention if something doesn’t feel right and have it checked out, then maybe you won’t have to go through all these surgeries like I did. Early detection can make a difference,” said Judy.
“I would like to thank the community, Sherry’s Run, the different churches that have prayed for me, and my home church First Assembly of God,” noted Judy. “I would also like to thank everyone for the cards, phone calls, visits, and especially my family and little Sissy, Joyce, who was there for me night and day. But most of all I would like to thank God, because nothing is impossible with Him.”
“If cancer is detected early, it can often be treated successfully and those of us who have survived this terrible disease can live life to the fullest.”
Judy has three sons, Barry, Willie Jr., and Adam, along with 10 grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Another great grandchild is on the way. In her spare time Judy enjoys going to church and singing, cooking, spending time with her family and going shopping with her sister Joyce.
There is a Bible study at the First Assembly of God, on the Akersville Road, every Tuesday morning, at 10:00 a.m. and if you would like to attend, please feel free to stop by.
Judy says she notices the little things in life now, that most of us take for granted. “Sometimes we are so busy, that we forget what’s really important in our lives and we also forget to be thankful,” concluded Judy.