‘Faith saw me through’ – Breast cancer survivor recounts her battle in granddaughter’s column


Katie Johnson

Survivor Sandra Johnson looks out a window as she talks about her battle with breast cancer. In the attached column, Johnson’s granddaughter shares her feelings on the diagnosis. “I just froze, I sobbed a few tears, and then I faced it.”

Katie Johnson, Columnist

This article was updated April 20, 2022 for headline formatting.

Cancer – a dark word. It’s something talked about so often, but it never fully hits home until it affects someone you know. Cancer – a ticking time bomb. It rips families apart and takes ones closest to you. Cancer – a unsuspecting word. It’s often talked about, but you never think it will happen to you or loved ones, until it does.

March 2018 is a month forever engraved in my mind. I’ll never forget the look on my father’s face as he received the news nobody wants to hear. Your mother has breast cancer. The atmosphere in my house completely shifted. Each person’s mood changed in my home. A melancholic state took over each family member. All I could think about was time, and how much we had left. My perfect world was ripped apart.

This isn’t about me though.

My grandmother, the bravest, most loving person I know is the one full of knowledge.

“I just froze,” Sandra Johnson, my grandmother – my hero, my MeMa said. “I sobbed a few tears, and then I faced it.”

I couldn’t bear with the thought of losing of her.

“Thankfully everything turned out,” MeMa said. “We have breast cancer in our family, and I often thought I would develop it. I wasn’t going to get a mammogram. My doctor insisted I get one. She saved my life.”

I know others have endured the news they’ve been diagnosed with cancer. Although there isn’t much you can do if you’re diagnosed, MeMa showed me you can stay positive. It’s all about perspective and what you make of it.

“There is hope,” MeMa said. “I just had my faith, and it saw me through it. I didn’t have chemo, and radiation treatment wasn’t that bad. It all seems like a dream now. Everyone goes through that fear, but you just have to live with it. Just have faith everything will turn out alright.”

There wasn’t much anyone in my family could do to help my Grandmother. We just had to be there for her. It’s the least we could do. She was always there for us. We didn’t know how much time we had left with her, so we were going to cherish the time we spent with her, and make the most out of every moment.

“I have a lot of faith and I think my faith is what got me through it,” MeMa would continue to tell us. “I couldn’t have managed without my family. They were there for me and my husband was there every step of the way with me along with all of my family.”

The one thing we didn’t do was give up. We didn’t want to say goodbye, and she didn’t either. This was not the end.

Not everyone is as lucky as my grandmother. She had a short battle and came out victorious. The doctors and the medicine worked fast, and after 10 treatments of radiation therapy, and several prescriptions later, we received the best news we’d gotten in a while: MeMa was cancer-free. We called her “Cured” – a hope word.