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Sherri Howell faced cancer with faith

Mickey Starling:

In January of 2018, Sherri Howell detected a lump under her arm that had suddenly appeared.

She made a quick trip to the doctor, who had four biopsies done. All of them came back negative. Doctors decided to remove the lump and discovered that it was a cancerous tumor. Further testing brought even more bad news. Howell had stage 2-B Triple Negative Breast Cancer, which is a very aggressive form of the disease and it had spread to her lymph nodes.

Even before this dreaded diagnosis was delivered, Howell continued deepening her roots in her faith and was holding Bible studies in her home with friends from Hopewell Baptist Church. Ironically, the Bible study focused on how God uses our difficult circumstances to reveal Himself to the world. Along with the study, Howell's church family and friends throughout the community were behind her with prayer, support and encouragement on a regular basis. "I want to thank my church and the community for all the help and encouragement I received," said Howell.

In February of 2018, Howell began the first of eight chemotherapy treatments that continued into May. After a brief rest, Howell had surgery to remove the cancer. Howell then went on to complete 33 rounds of radiation, which she finished in October of 2018.

Since that time, Howell has steadily improved. "I am very grateful and humbled by how well I've done," said Howell, who has returned to work as a mail carrier. "I know God has healed me."

Doctors remain cautious, telling Howell that they will watch her closely over the next several years, "because cancer likes to come back."

For Howell, those words do not trouble her. "It's always been in God's hands and it still is," said Howell. "I have used this experience to reach out to others who are going through this. I definitely want to give back what I received." Howell's faith remains front and center in her life and she took some different paths to express it to others when going through her extensive treatments. Unlike most women dealing with breast cancer, Howell opted not to wear a wig to cover her bald head. "I never covered my head because I wanted people to ask about it so I could share the Lord with them," said Howell.

Today, as life has resumed its normal pace, Howell hasn't changed a thing. Now smiling under a beautiful head of hair that grew back much darker than her original color, her response to life's ups and downs holds true: "It's really all about Jesus."






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