ST. LOUIS — Believing in the process is important when someone is on a personal journey. Especially when facing cancer, because the journey is not an easy one.
Darcy Hardwick Smith knows exactly how tough the road to better health can be.
“Days where all I could just, all I could do was lay on the floor,” she said.
She is on the path to beating breast cancer.
“Dec. 3, 2021. I got the phone call from the nurse, ‘You have breast cancer,’” she told 5 On Your Side.
She initially reacted to the tough news with calm.
“OK. There’s no why me. It’s OK. What do we need to do?” she said.
She was OK with the next steps in curing the disease because she had belief in two things helping her through the fight.
“My faith is deep. Right now, science that’s made all the difference in the world,” she said.
But the faith she has in science also tested her spiritual faith. The cancer treatments were hard on her physically and changed her appearance.
“I lost my hair. I lost my eyelashes. I lost eyebrows,” she said.
The feeling she had following bouts with chemotherapy kept her from doing many of the things she loves.
“Couldn’t do any painting. I couldn’t watch TV. I couldn’t read books,” she said.
But she said her belief in the medicines she was taking never wavered.
“I trust the science,” she said.
She also got through many of those tough days by spending time with dogs or in her garden.
“This is my sanctuary,” she said about her backyard.
Now after months of tough treatments, she is only days away from finishing her journey.
“I will have finished chemo. I will have finished radiation. I’m classified as cured,” she explained.
The science behind the treatments is why she has supported the annual Pedal the Cause cancer fundraiser.
“Now it’s personal,” she said.
Personal to her because the charity bike rides benefit the cancer research that has her seeing life with much more optimism than when she was first diagnosed.
“I’m feeling like myself again,” she said.
The journey has also shown her the importance of the small things.
“I appreciate time. I appreciate my grandchildren, my dogs, the blue sky, the trees,” she said.
Hardwick Smith’s final cancer treatment will be on Friday, Sept. 30. But she isn’t planning a big celebration.
“I think it’s going to be as simple as waking up the next morning and saying we did it,” she said.
She is a strong believer in getting mammograms. She did not have a family history of breast cancer and a mammogram is how her cancer was detected.
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