God’s healing touch

Published 11:04 pm Friday, October 29, 2010

Regina Foster knows, without a doubt, what the touch of God’s hand can do.

Early on Friday morning, May 21, 2009, she ran her hand across her breast and felt a lump.

“I’m not going to say that I checked my breasts because that would not be true,” Foster said. ‘I just didn’t do it. So, I know that it was God’s hand that put my hand on my breast that morning. I know that.”

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Foster’s mammogram in October 2008 was normal but that didn’t ease the concern of finding a lump.

“I went to my gynecologist in Enterprise, Dr. Warren Banach, and he sent me to another doctor and I had an ultrasound done and it came back ‘normal,’” Foster said. “But Dr. Banach said he didn’t like the wording of it. He said there is nothing normal about a lump that was not there eight months ago.”

Further examinations revealed that the lump was even bigger than the ultrasound showed and, in July, Foster was told that she had cancer, carcinoma.

“The doctor told me that because it was the type cancer that it was, I didn’t have to make a decision right away about what I wanted to do, but not to take months,” Foster said. “I had a friend that had been diagnosed with cancer and she helped me and I prayed and I came to a decision.”

On July 22, 2009, Foster had her breast removed. “My breasts don’t make me who I am,” she said.

Foster’s cancer was stage two and required three chemotherapy treatments, given every three weeks, September through November.

In December, Foster began radiation treatments and, after the first treatment, she found a lump under her arm, which was determined to be only a blood pocket.

Following the chemotherapy, 35 radiation treatments were prescribed for Foster and she drove herself to every one of them.

Between those times, she was having a difficult time being alone at home.

“For me, it was a mind thing,” she said. “It was like the walls were closing in on me. I had to get back to work.”

Foster works in financial services at Troy University and the university made arrangements for her to come back to work while she was taking the radiation treatments.

“Being around people kept my mind occupied,” Foster said. “It kept me from wallowing around in what I was going through. I didn’t let cancer take over my spirit.”

Co-workers were surprised that Foster could take a radiation treatment and come back to work the next day, seemingly feeling good.

“They would ask me if I felt as good as it seemed like I did,” Foster said. “It was hard but I trusted in God because I know there is nothing too hard for Him. “Now, I’m not saying that I didn’t cry because I did. My daughter was a senior when I was diagnosed, and I thought that I might not see her graduate but God said otherwise.”

What is so amazing to Foster is that having cancer has made her stronger. “I used to be a real cry baby,” she said. “I’d cry at any little thing. I have always prayed and had a strong relationship with God but I have become stronger and stronger as I’ve had to deal with this disease. I know that God is with me because I can do nothing by myself.”

The strength and courage with which Foster has faced cancer has been an inspiration to others.

“When others see how good I’ve done, it gives their spirits a lift,” she said. “They think that, if little ol’ me can take this task on, so can they. There’s one thing that I know about cancer and that’s it doesn’t exclude anyone. I don’t have a history of cancer in my family so it can happen to anyone. And, when it does, you’ve got to stay positive and trust in God to see you through. He has been so good to me. I know how blessed I am.”

Foster’s radiation treatments stopped in February but she has had another close brush with the disease. “The doctors noticed two nodules on my lungs but they don’t think the spots are cancer,” she said. “They think the chemo treatments could have caused them. If it had been cancer, the radiation should have shrunk them but they’ve not changed in size.”

Foster is a choir member at Bethel Missionary Baptist Church. Her pastor, the Rev. L.C. McMillan, told her that he had no idea what she was going through but “Now, you’ve got to believe in what you’re singing.”

And, when Regina Foster sings of God’s love, His mercy, His grace, His comfort and His help in time of need, she believes every word of it – “without a doubt.”