While getting dressed one morning, Eleanor Patrick felt something odd as her arm brushed against her chest. Something was poking out of her breast that she’d never noticed before.
She told a friend who immediately gave her the name of a physician to call. Patrick didn’t wait. The call led to several appointments and a diagnosis of a cancerous tumor.
“He told me it’s very early,” she said of her diagnosis in 2010.
She underwent a lumpectomy and radiation treatment. Patrick used her sense of humor to deal with the cancer and surrounded herself with funny pictures and inspirational sayings.
She also found prayer to be a powerful force in her journey. One particular prayer she found encouraging was called “What Cancer Cannot Do.” Among the things cancer can’t do are “silence courage,” “invade the soul” and “steal eternal life,” she said.
And in Patrick’s cause, it couldn’t destroy her laughter. After the lumpectomy, Patrick joked that her doctor had made a “hole in one” by removing her lump and treating her so quickly. Later her sister-in-law created a gift for that doctor – a bra with a miniature golf flag stuck in the side of it. Patrick said he had it on display in his office at one time, and she was glad he could appreciate her humor.
The year 2010 had its difficult moments as she went through her treatments, but one highlight of the year was throwing out the first pitch at the Augusta GreenJackets’ Pink in the Park Day on May 7. She started preparing for the big pitch weeks ahead of time by playing catch with her husband.
Two boys who lived in her neighborhood offered to help her with her pitch to get her ready for the game.
“I was so nervous,” she said. “I don’t even remember the details. But they told me I got it to the catcher.”
She may not remember all the details, but she does have several reminders of the day including photographs and a signed baseball. And as she looks back on her cancer journey, Patrick smiles.
“Isn’t it good to be able to survive and laugh at this? God is good all the time, and all the time God is good,” she said.