Blessings Become Her

Suzanne Gately is a breast cancer survivor, and yet, she is a blessed woman by her own reckoning.

Diagnosed as a result of an annual mammogram in May 2010, she is blessed, she says, to have discovered the aggressive cancer at the first stage. Her sister-in-law was diagnosed at Stage 4; her mother at Stage 2.

Still, the news hit her and her family hard, especially her husband Stan, an anesthesiologist, and her teenage twins Stephanie and Hunter, whose biological father passed away when they were infants. He had colon cancer.

But they rallied around her, and her family became her strongest supporters.

The cancer was not in my lymph nodes, and that was a huge blessing,” she said. “After the surgery to remove the tumor, we opted for six rounds of chemo, and even through that, there were blessings all around me.”

Suzanne even felt blessed by her chemo treatments. “When I arrived for my first chemo, I just didn’t want to be there. I know God put me in that chair on purpose because there was a sweet lady
sitting next to me who had been battling her cancer for nine years. There was a man who had been receiving chemo for four years, and another for seven. It was a humbling experience. Here I was getting my six little treatments.”

Gately is thankful for the care she received at Saint Mary’s. “I couldn’t have found any better care by traveling to another hospital,” she said. “From diagnosis to surgery to radiation and chemo treatments, Saint Mary’s treated me well. They are one more reason I consider myself a blessed woman.”

Now cancer-free, she maintains her realigned priorities. Be still. Be patient, and give up control. “It’s easy to trust God when the result is good, but it is hard to trust God when the results are bad. In all things, it’s important to trust God. He has a plan for me, and that’s what Stan and I told the kids at the beginning. We didn’t know where we were heading, but we knew God had a plan for us,” she said.