Darlene Koch's Story In Her Own Words Part 2

I am now making two hundred bracelets which I will sell to raise money for breast cancer in addition to those which I give away for free. I give all the cashiers at the stores where I sell them a bracelet to wear so customers can see them. That helps sales a lot! When someone looks at my bracelets, tells me their story and says they would love one but cannot afford the five dollars it melts my heart and I give them one. How can I not give them one. One lady put twenty dollars in the jar and told me she did not want a bracelet. She was on her way to Children's Hospital where here six year old granddaughter was a cancer patient. She collected elephants. I always have three cute animals with all the charms I use on the bracelets and if someone wants one of the animals I sell them for ten dollars. They always sell out! One of the animals I had that day was an elephant and I gave it to her to take with her to the hospital. I know the little things in life can make a difference! Now back to my story.

I thought I was going back to the hospital for another mammogram but it turned out to be an ultra-sound. I never panic, a few years back I had to do this. I was scared then but not this time. At the end of February they would let me know the results. I felt like I was wasting their time. I never had any lumps, I felt great and nothing had changed. When they called me back they said they wanted me to see a breast specialist and I would need to get all my tests results from the last three years. They couldn't get the results I had to be the one to do this. My thoughts went crazy! I knew they were really wasting their time on me. I'm ok.

When I went back with my records I was not worried. As I walked through the doors of the doctor's office I saw the sign said Dr. Sarah Snell, Breast Surgeon. Why are they sending me here I wondered. When I met with Dr. Snell she was pleasant and had lots of smiles. She took my medical records to check and said she would be right back. I still felt ok. It is a mistake. I just knew it was. When she came back into the room she did not have her smile. She sat down next to me and said, "You have breast cancer". The words rang loud in my ears. I was speechless for a second, then I said, "I have what?". You have cancer. I repeated the words five times as she repeated the same words five times. Then I knew this was for real!

I had to go downstairs to get some more tests. They were upbeat and so very nice to me. The tests confirmed the results. I went home and wrapped a blanket around me and I cried and prayed. "God, I know I asked you to let me know more about this disease, but You got it wrong. I did not want to learn more about it by getting it!" But as we all know God never gets anything wrong. He had a plan for me. I was sent to several different doctors to learn what choices I had for treatment and what I needed to do. I decided on chemo and then radiation. My first treatment would be in April. I would have six treatments of chemo every three weeks.

When I went to the treatment center for a tour I was asked if I would like to be in a room by myself or if I would like to be in a big room with other cancer patients. I wanted to be with other people. I knew we could help each other get through this. On a Tuesday I went to have a port put in and on Thursday I was at the chemo center for my first treatment. I was told three new breast cancer patients would be starting chemo with me. As I sat in the waiting room I saw a man and woman sitting across from me, both looking down at the ground. He reached over and grabbed her hand as tears flowed from both their eyes. I wondered if this was one of the patients starting with me and I would later find out it was. I was called in to meet with my doctor before the treatment started. I had many questions for him and I felt good. When I went into the big room it was bright and cheery but all the people were looking down at the ground. I felt I had to do something to change this! So I walked in and asked a lady if I could sit down next to her. A big smile came on her face and she said yes. I asked her what her name was and she said it was Charlene but I could call her Char. I told her my name is Darlene and you can call me Dar. Everyone in the big room started laughing! Then the next person told their name and it went all around the room and just like that I knew the magic had begun. That was why I was there. I really could help! Thank you God. I will continue this story later.

Until we meet here again, I pray God bless you and keep your loved ones safe.