Carolyn Pruett found healing through faith and laughter

Posted 10/9/18

Breast cancer affects countless women, and Carolyn Pruett, a 74-year-old cancer survivor, attributes her recovery to God and God alone.

Many women around the world have gotten the dreaded …

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Carolyn Pruett found healing through faith and laughter


Breast cancer affects countless women, and Carolyn Pruett, a 74-year-old cancer survivor, attributes her recovery to God and God alone.

Many women around the world have gotten the dreaded news about that lump they’ve been feeling or that pain they’ve felt around their breasts that ultimately turned their world upside down. Pruett underwent surgery to remove four lymph nodes from her breast at age 38 in 1982, and quickly recovered within the time span of eight months.

“I had found the lump and went to my doctor, who said ‘I don’t know what it is, but it shouldn’t be there.’ So a week later I had surgery. He scheduled me as soon as he could; they performed the surgery and I was praying throughout. I asked for the peace to accept the diagnosis, whichever way it went,” Pruett said.

Citing a calm feeling washing over her, Pruett says she felt at peace even when the doctor delivered the diagnosis of cancer. She woke up after having one breast partially removed — meaning the removal of four lymph nodes as well — and was told by her doctor that her future looked bright; however, she would still need to begin treatment, to ensure no cancer remained.

The treatment began two weeks after the surgery, along with drip bags and pills being taken each week. Pruett said she’s not sure exactly what she was being given, but does remember how horrible it made her feel.

“I won’t say I wasn’t scared. You don’t want to leave your family, but I did not have any fear for myself,” Pruett added.

After the first treatment yielded no results, she went for her second round accompanied by the characteristic sickness and weakness typical of cancer treatment. It was around this time she told her husband, Edd, she wanted to purchase a wig for fear of losing her hair.

This fear was vindicated as every day she got up, Pruett’s pillow was littered with her own hair until she was down to only a few wisps that she quickly cut off and covered with her new wig.

One of the biggest takeaways she discovered throughout her process was the importance of finding humor in every instance possible.

“Every time you get a chance to laugh, you laugh, because it’s good for the soul. The more I stayed on that treatment, the worse I felt. I just laid around, and when my doctor told me I had to continue treatment for a whole year, I felt defeated and like I couldn’t do it,” she said.

Around the seventh treatment — following a strong feeling — Pruett asked her doctor if she still needed a full dose of treatment or a half dose, and her doctor said he was going to discontinue treatment, as long as she committed to come in for routine checkups.

Nearly falling over with relief, Pruett was overjoyed and explained how her energy, health and hair quickly started to regenerate over the following weeks.

“This made such a difference in my family and I’s lives. I used to be a worrywart, but when the Lord pulls you through something like that, you realize just how strong your faith is and you realize that you’ve got to have Him,” she said.

From that point on, Pruett has brushed off nearly every small inconvenience that’s come her way, as she said nothing compares to the "mountain" of the challenge of having cancer. After overcoming her battle, she said she now sees the good in most people, and can overlook negative things in life overall.

“I consider myself blessed, because I think the Lord sent me to the right doctor, had a hand in the healing process and got me back into church, surrounded by support,” she added.

Socializing is one of the key takeaways Pruett discovered through her battle as an important healing technique. While it’s easy to succumb to wanting to lay around all the time, she said she felt such joy and energy when she’d go out with friends, family and church members. One such example was when sister-in-law Jane Gregg called her at one point during Pruett’s treatment and invited her to go see the movie "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial." She said they had an excellent time and the opportunity to get out and enjoy herself was just what the doctor ordered. Receiving uplifting calls from friends and family also was greatly appreciated.

After some familial research, she discovered how cancer seemed to be fairly prevalent in her family, as three of her relatives had contracted cancer, with one being before Pruett’s diagnosis and two after her treatment.

Whenever Pruett would discover someone nearby who had cancer, she’d go visit them, or at least pray for them. She said every year when the anniversary of her healing comes around, it’s cause for a celebration.

“If you’re a person of faith, pray often,” she said. “There are verses throughout the Bible that will uplift you. Pick out a few verses that you can repeat to yourself when times get tough, and always laugh when the opportunity presents itself. Get out when you feel like it, and have a good time.”

Citing cancer as a battle that so many have already gone up against, Pruett encourages anyone diagnosed with it to fight on, never give up and always focus on the positive.


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