They say that everyone remembers that moment when they are told that they have Cancer, and I’m sure that is true. For my sister, Alena Stevens, it all started in November of 2022. She had gone in for her annual screening and pap smear. Normally, the Gynecologist gave her the paperwork to go and set up her mammogram, which she had always filed in file 13. She hadn’t gone in for years, but by Divine Intervention, the doctor took it out of her hands and had Casper Imaging call her to get an appointment. So, reluctantly, she went in and had a mammogram. She was texted about two weeks later and told that she needed to come in for more images. Her first thought was, “Ok, no big deal.” She went in for the pictures, and they did several of them. They also wanted ultrasound pictures for a better look at four areas. Finally, they narrowed it down to one area in one breast and sent it to Dr Smothers, a surgeon.
The doctor was very upbeat and said it was no big deal because it was super small. He put Alena at ease immediately. He sent her back to Casper Medical Imaging for a biopsy. The initial determination was that the lump was not cancerous, but they had also sent it to Utah for a second opinion. It was determined to be cancer, but a very non-aggressive type. Again, Dr Smothers was very upbeat. He went in on January 23, 2023, and took it out. At that time, he did find a very small mass in one lymph node. That mass was the size of a grain of sugar, and he took it out too. The original lump in Alena’s breast was the size of a pepper corn or smaller. Alena was given 33 radiation treatments, done every day, five days a week for six weeks. The treatments were very successful, and Alena is now cancer free.
While Alena’s discovery and treatment story is amazing, it must be said that her support group was phenomenal. Her husband, Mike and kids, Michelle (Matt) Miller, Garrett (Kayla) Stevens, and Lacey Stevens (Chris Killinger) were all amazing!! Alena says, “Mike was a rock, as were the kids. I am so thankful for the support of my sisters, Cheryl Masterson, Caryn (Bob) Schulenberg, Caryl (Mike) Reed, and Allyn (Chris) Hadlock and their families; as well as Mike’s family, Scott (Barb) Stevens, Pat (Susie) Stevens, Annette (Hermis) Decoteau, Carrie (Mike) VonSenden, and Kathy (Mike) Huval and their families. Everyone was so great and checked with me often. But, above all, I give God the glory. We took communion every day and stood on the Word!”
Alena’s daughter, Michelle says, “Mom was a perfect example of faith, grace, and strength throughout this whole process. Obviously, we were very upset to hear about her diagnosis, but from the start she was positive and very strong about all of it. She led the way in moving through this process and she was a warrior. It was so touching to see how much it effected my dad, who is usually very stoic, as well. He was by her side and very supportive. And once she finished treatment, seeing how happy and proud of her, he was absolutely amazing. God is so good and the older we get, it’s amazing to see how much of an example our parents can still be to us. Also, the older we get the more thankful we are for our parents, so this process just made me even more thankful to have her. She is amazing and I feel like she is living her best life these days.”
Alena’s son Garrett says, “The only thing I have to add is that she wanted absolutely zero negativity from the beginning. She told everyone that this was already taken care of on the cross and that she didn’t want any negative thoughts about it. It was positive thoughts and planning only. I think she went through it all without any real fear and full of faith!!”
Lacey told me just how proud she was of her dad, who was so supportive. She was proud to watch how positive her parents were. Their positive attitudes allowed their kids to stay positive about everything, and free from fear!! They just knew she would be ok, and they never worried about that. They all stood strong in faith, because of the leading of their parents.
Alena’s family all saw the same thing in her…a strong faith in God for her complete healing. And now, we are all rejoicing in her great victory. Above all else…to God be the glory!!