A Life Worth Living
Tracie Griddine lives life to the fullest; it's a life even more precious today due to a recent breast cancer diagnosis.
Twelve years ago Tracie become a proponent of breast exams and mammograms after her sister had breast cancer at age 40. It was the diligence of breast-self exam that caught her cancer.
"Women must perform monthly self exams and be aware of their own bodies. It could mean the difference between life and death," says Tracie, age 50.
Doctors diagnosed Tracie with Stage 3 invasive ductal carcinoma, the most common type of breast cancer. Over time, this cancer can spread to the lymph nodes and other areas of the body.
Fortunately for Tracie, the cancer was contained in her right breast. "I believe in God, so I knew I would be okay, but no one wants to have breast cancer," she says.
Under the guidance of Maureen Sheehan, MD, Tracie received chemotherapy for four months to shrink the tumors located close to the chest wall. Surgeon Trent Failing, MD, performed a double mastectomy at Tracie’s request.
Tracie’s faith in God was tested not only through her diagnosis, but her father’s death, her own divorce and loss of her home.
"My faith is even stronger because if it wasn’t for God, I wouldn’t be here. I have a second chance at life," professes Tracie.
While Tracie is still healing from chemotherapy and surgery, she credits her family, friends and especially her teenage son, Timothy, Jr., for praying with her and reminding her to laugh, when sometimes she felt like crying.