10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Chasity Guillot, a Winnsboro native, calls her battle with invasive ductal carcinoma a journey.
For Guillot it is a journey full of trials, but a journey she is walking bravely with help from her family and God. Often times while on this journey she turns to her favorite scripture for strength: Isaiah 41:10.
“Don’t lean unto your own understandings,” Guillot said. “Just trust God all the way. We don’t comprehend this, so it is going to scare us. He is going to walk us through it. We don’t have the answer. We don’t know how, but that is part of walking. You have to lean on God.”
She was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma on May 8. Invasive ductal carcinoma, also known as infiltrating ductal carcinoma or IDC, is the most common form of breast cancer, accounting for 80 percent of all breast cancer diagnoses, according to hopkinsmedicine.org.
Invasive ductal carcinoma is cancer (carcinoma) that happens when abnormal cells growing in the lining of the milk ducts change and invade breast tissue beyond the walls of the duct, according to hopkinsmedicine.org.
Once that happens, the cancer cells can spread. They can break into the lymph nodes or bloodstream, where they can travel to other organs and areas in the body, resulting in metastatic breast cancer.
To battle the cancer, Guillot underwent four rounds of doxorubicin chemotherapy otherwise known as “The Red Devil” at St. Francis Cabrini Hospital in Monroe.
“Lot of people do terrible with ‘The Red Devil,’” the Jonesville resident said. “I’m down for four days in bed exhausted. But, after that I’m up. I try not to stay down.”
According to Guillot, the lime-sized mass started shrinking after the first treatment. The day of The Concordia Sentinel interview she was in pain, a symptom Guillot says, that the mass was shrinking.
“That pain lets me know that it is working,” she said.
After she finishes with “The Red Devil,” Guillot has 12 rounds of taxol, another type of chemotherapy.
Barring any unforeseen illnesses, she will be finished with chemo in November and will have surgery in December. Afterward she plans to “go back living cancer free.”
Guillot admitted when she was first diagnosed with cancer fear nearly took over, but a conversation with Baskin-native Glen Linder prepared her for the journey.
“He told me to give it back to Satan,” she remembered.
Guillot continues to pray after her conversation with Linder. She acknowledged she still has a “few questions” but is not living in fear.”
“It’s in God’s hands,” Guillot said. “I have joy more than fear.”
Her mother, Shelia Guillot, holds tight to her faith also as her daughter continues on her journey.
“Didn’t really bother me because I know the person that she is,” Shelia said. “She has always let her light shine in her darkest hours. I knew that she could handle it. We all know that in time we are appointed to die. We can’t control that, but we must enjoy the days we have because we don’t know God’s time. It’s going to be good either way.”
Chasity Guillot’s toughest part of the journey so far has been the initial loss of her hair. She was on vacation with her mother, her daughters, Clair (16) and Emma (10), and her nieces when her hair started falling out.
“When I got out of the shower both hands were full (of hair),” Guillot said. “My kids just swarmed me. They held me until the crying was done. They play a big part in keeping me going and encouraging me all the way.”
Guilott is currently hairless and does not wear a wig or hat because “this is who I am at the moment. This is part of my journey. It is part of the walk I have to walk.”
The effects of chemo are part of the journey, and Guillot says there “is no shame in it.”
“You are taking a medicine that you have no control over,” Guillott said. “You either do it to live or you don’t live, simple as that.”
Guilott has decided to live and walk this journey with the help of God. She might stumble and even fall, but through her faith she will have no fear.
“You never know what tomorrow holds,” Guillot said. “When I wake up in the morning I am grateful. I woke up. My mind is still going. I can still get up and go. I’m beating cancer. I am beating it. It’s not gonna get me. I have a lot to be thankful for. You can’t take life for granted.”