Daphne Evans

Daphne Evans

This is her testimony of #cancer. “I’ll always remember that pain in my back and intestines, a gravitational pull so severe, it knocked me to the ground. The year was 1998. Ten months earlier, my gynecologist had given me a clean bill of health. So you can imagine my shock when, after an MRI, my doctor told me, “You have stage 3 ovarian cancer.” Ovarian cancer—which doesn’t run in my family—had spread to my large intestines; that’s why I’d felt like I had a horrible case of hemorrhoids. I’d have to have surgery to remove not only the metastasized cancer but also my uterus and ovaries. At the time, I was 35, married and longing to have a child. The idea of losing a major part of my womanhood brought me to tears.

Angry and depressed, I asked God, “Why is this happening to me?” As I dealt with the disappointment, I started thinking about how I could feel better—even beautiful again. So I went to a spa, had my body massaged and got in the whirlpool, which was so soothing that I returned every day for a week. I felt nurtured, which lifted me out of my funk.

That’s when I made a choice: I wasn’t going to let cancer define me or allow it to rob me of feeling beautiful and creating joyous experiences. I began to dress more stylishly. I got my hair and nails done. For years, I’d been doing so much for others that I had neglected my own needs. I finally learned to put myself at the top of my priority list. I even coined a word for my new perspective: divatude.

My battle with this disease continues: In 2009, I was diagnosed with a third form of cancer: spinal. Right now, I thank God that all of my cancers are in remission. Though I still have my challenging days, I’m learning to be less focused on my hardships and more grateful for my blessings—all while standing tall in my stilettos.

Story and Photo by Daphne Evans

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