‘God was with me through it all’

by Hazel Halliburton

People often quote Philippians 4:13 as their favorite verse, but for Linda Ingram of Searcy, it’s more than a favorite passage. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” is Linda’s anchor and sentiment for life.

In 2006, Linda realized something was wrong when she noticed a spot on her right breast that had been swollen for more than a month. No one wants to be diagnosed with breast cancer, but after an appointment with her physician and an ordered ultrasound and biopsy, her fear was confirmed. It was breast cancer, and it was quickly spreading.

With a diagnosis of HER2-positive breast cancer, an aggressive form, treatments started with four chemotherapy sessions three weeks apart at the Cancer Center of Excellence in Searcy.

“HER2-positive is a type of breast cancer that contains a protein that promotes cancer cell production,” Linda said. “With this form of cancer, the cells look like they have little fingers growing off of them, and if those little fingers break off, they can spread the cancer. With the first set of chemo treatment, I lost my hair, which was the most traumatic side effect for me because it was the most outward change. After chemo, I then had a mastectomy surgery taking out eight lymph glands, five being cancerous; followed by more chemo and radiation.”

Linda said looking back on the diagnosis and entire cancer battle, God took care of her the entire way.

“God was with me through it all,” Linda said. “When I found out I had cancer, my husband Gordan and I prayed about it. We felt like whatever happened was His will, and in return, God gave me peace. I can’t imagine having gone through this if I hadn’t had my faith to rely on.

“We lived in West Memphis before we moved to Searcy. So when I was diagnosed with cancer shortly after moving here, I thought I would go somewhere else for my treatment; however, several people recommended going to the Unity Health Oncology Clinic inside the Cancer Center of Excellence. Being so close to home made such a huge difference, and I feel like it was another way God took care of me.”

Through the support of church, her physical family and especially her husband Gordan, Linda received constant encouragement throughout the battle. Having received such support through her difficult time inspired her to find a way to bless others and give back. As a talented seamstress, Linda chooses to give through her volunteer work with the Gentle Hugs program at Unity Health by sewing and smocking baby gowns, tunics and baby bonnets for stillborn babies.

As a cancer survivor, she also embroiders “breast cancer angels” and “cancer angels” to encourage others going through the same battle. They are small tokens that Linda hopes remind people that others are praying for them through their difficult time.

“God lets you go through times, but He brings you through them. He strengthens your faith through those times,” Linda said. “I now look at everything differently and I’m more thankful for the little things in life.”

Linda Ingram is proud to share her story about the Cancer Center of Excellence through Unity Health’s Ambassador Program. If you have had a good experience at Unity Health and would like to share your health-centered story, please contact the Unity Health Marketing Department at 501. 278.3230 or [email protected]. For more information about cancer treatments available at the Cancer Center of Excellence and Unity Health Oncology Clinic, please visit Unity-Health.org/cancer-center or call 501.278.3297.