• 73°

Cancer Freeze recipient: ‘God still has many laborers in the fields’

After years of being a solid supporter, donor and participant of many cancer driven fundraisers, Cancer Freeze recipient NaToya Lane-Pitts found herself on the end of needing some of that same support in August 2019.

“As a wife, a mother of 5 bustling teenagers, an elementary school teacher, dance instructor and service enthusiast I was left dazed when the doctor called me in for my biopsy results,” Lane-Pitts said. “I couldn’t understand how a health focused Zumba dance instructor of many years could now be faced with the same nasty battle that was responsible for changing the lives of so many. For years, I had done the things the medical profession and health publications had instructed me to do. But this disease has no respecter of person and comes to steal and kill the hope of the people we hold dear to our hearts.”

Lane-Pitts said her family and local village has been wonderful since she shared the news of her breast cancer diagnosis.

“I went into the hospital on August 21 to have a seamlessly routine bilateral mastectomy and my life was turned upside down,” Lane-Pitts said. “I came out of surgery with no known missteps, but immediately began feeling a wonky feeling on the right side of my chest cavity. After a once over by my doctor, the lack of fluid drainage led me to a second procedure. I was in and out with the hope of a full recovery. But my hope soon turned to panic as my left cavity wall soon began swelling with fluid. Simultaneously, my blood level took a dive, which led to talks of transfusions and another visit to the operating room. The once overly optimistic daughter, wife, mother, friend, and teacher was continuously smiling while fear of the unknown gripped my core.

That visit to the operation table changed her life forever, Lane-Pitts said.

“Due to too much fluid being introduced and the overreaction of my organs, my heart turned it’s back on the job it had for 41 years and stopped,” Lane-Pitts said. “My lungs were left with the task of taking over and couldn’t handle the output, so it too stopped functioning. And for a moment, I was left with a decision to either fight from my Spirit or give up and cease! During that moment, I could hear the panicked banter of the medical professionals going through protocol and decided that I was going to make it through this. You see, I had been promised by God to see certain things come to pass that I hadn’t seen yet and I was holding on to the words that had been spoken into my life years ago. The remembrance of those words began flooding my mind and the courage to fight through what I was hearing and experiencing was ignited. I was going to live.”

Lane-Pitts came out of that experience and landed in ICU for a week worth of acute care.

“A team of about six or seven specialists were assigned to me and observed me around the clock,” Lane-Pitts said. “My intensely supportive family and friends stayed with me around the clock as my life was rebuilt. The continuous beeps and dings of my monitors became white noise as I meditated on the Word of God. Affirmations filled my mind as I regained enough strength to pull through and finally return home. A team of nurses was assigned to me for home care and for two weeks I had to continue taking meds via an IV. My recovery from phase one was methodical and slow, but effective.”

Lane-Pitts said her current treatment plan seems promising and she is extremely hopeful that the worst is behind her.

“Yes, there are days filled with intense pain, but I continuously think on things that are pure, lovely, true, noble, and honorable and it helps me,” Lane-Pitts said. “I look forward to the start of my next phase of treatment in the upcoming weeks.”

Unfortunately, Lane-Pitts said they are left with a heap of medical bills that currently decorate her dinner table like an expensive tablecloth.

“Ironically, we won’t be assisted by the same organizations my family spent countless heartbeats supporting but there’s always a ram in the bush for God’s people,” Lane-Pitts said. “God still has many laborers in the fields, laborers like Caleb and Jennifer Davidson, the many Cancer Freeze donors, and the volunteers who provide hope and help to those in our community. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be amongst these audaciously strong women who are being supported by Cancer Freeze 2020.”