Grissett named final Cancer Freeze recipient

Published 12:52 am Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Andalusia’s Suzanne Grissett was named the fifth and final Cancer Freeze 2016 recipient.

Grissett was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year and underwent a lumpectomy.

Grissett is shown with her children Joseph, Jonathan and Caroline. Courtesy photo.

Grissett is shown with her children Joseph, Jonathan and Caroline.
Courtesy photo.

“Every individual cancer story is different,” she said. “Yet, our stories are all the same. Like many others, I know the unforgiving feeling of the head-on train wreck that occurs when news of cancer brings your entire existence to a screeching, screaming halt.”

For Grissett, that happened on Aug. 3, when her doctor called her while she was recovering from a lumpectomy.

“In the matter of a few words, my doctor confirmed the inevitable,” she said. “My world stopped spinning. Life stood still. Cancer. How can such a small word symbolize such intense feelings of pain, grief, fear and even guilt?”

In that conversation, Grissett said her doctor confirmed the bad news – she had cancer.

“All I could feel was a thick heavy gloomy fog surrounding me, invading my life, threatening to swallow up my beautiful, sweet life with my loving husband and precious children,” she said. “It is strange how the ugly diagnosis of cancer is all-consuming. I did not want it to be true. I wanted to believe this was some kind of cruel mistake. I did not talk much about the diagnosis and when I did, I felt as if I was talking about someone else’s life – someone else with cancer – not me.”

Grissett said she did not want to “jump onto the harsh, chaotic roller coaster that the doctor was saying” she needed to get on.

“I did not want to stop for this cruel, callous word,” she said. “Cancer. No. I did not want more surgery. Radiation. Oral chemotherapy. This could not be my life.”

Grissett said she finally woke up and realized the c-word was something she’d have to learn to deal with.

“Why was this word so harsh?” Grissett said. “So cruel? So unforgiving? I had considered myself strong in the past. Even before Aug. 3, 2015, my sweet family was not immune to chaotic roller coaster rides. We have become skilled veterans in dealing with family health issues.”

Before Grissett’s diagnosis, her husband had suffered kidney failure and was sick for a long time.

In 2013, Grissett donated a kidney to her husband.

“I welcomed any measure of discomfort, pain or suffering to give him a second chance at life,” she said. “The Lord blessed the kidney donation.”

Grissett said she is currently in search to find out what the Lord wants her to learn on this journey.

“He is not surprised by my cancer diagnosis,” she said. “He is not caught off guard by where I am on the journey today. It is part of a greater plan. His plan.”