My name is Mattie Pearl Todd and I am a 63-year old African-American woman currently living in Somerset, New Jersey. I have two sons and five grandchildren. I have worked for a rehabilitation care center for the past 26 years helping other people recover from traumatic illness and injuries. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in the year of 2006. I underwent surgery on my breast and a portion of my breast was removed along with six lymph nodes. I underwent chemotherapy and radiation therapy for over six months. I returned to work in 2007 and worked through 2014 with no problems. I was very active in participating in cancer walks such as Susan G. Komen, The Sister Network, and Strive for a Cure. During that time, I was able to raise money for each walk as a way of me giving back to the cause and cure for cancer. I participated in the walks on an annual basis and recruited friends to participate and fund raising with me.
In January 2014, I began to have chest pains and was misdiagnosed. My cancer care physician who performed my surgery stated that I did not have cancer. So she recommended that I see a Cardiologist, and Optometrist and an ear, nose and throat specialist. It wasn’t until later in September 2014, that I went back to my Oncologist and he performed an extensive amount of tests. As a result, he discovered that I had Stage 4 bone cancer in my chest. After chemotherapy and more tests, they called it malignant neoplasm unspecified site of unspecified female breasts.
In May 2015, my job was outsourced and along with my health insurance was ended. I had to file for emergency Social Security Disability and Medicaid in order to have a source of income. My Oncologist had to release me from his care due to no health insurance. I then had to locate a new Oncologist. I am currently still receiving chemotherapy and my Oncologist stated I will always have this cancer and that there is no cure for it.
It has not been easy this time around living with cancer because it has affected me severely physically and financially. Each day has been a struggle but I am learning to live one moment at a time. I do not know what the future will hold but I do know who holds my future. I trust God through this entire process knowing this path is a testimony to all who watch me as a child of God. Staying positive, resting, and “paying it forward” helps me encounter each day. Life is short and I truly know how precious life really is. Taking time out to enjoy my grandchildren, family members, friends and my church family has also truly been a blessing. If there was a summary to my life it would be “Our birth is our gift from God and how we live our life before we die is our gift to God.”
How can we pray for you? Pray for my body to respond to the treatments, the side-effects to diminish quickly and my family to all be strengthened in their walk with Christ.
Area of greatest need: It is Financial in order to keep my bills under control. I’m divorced and things are really tight doing this by myself. Thank you for asking and praying for me.