Wendi Kelley is a 4-year breast cancer survivor. Her recently published book, God (Still) Whispers, tells her story of faith, encouragement, and support in her breast cancer journey. Wendi’s husband, Randall, has his own chapter in the book, sharing first-hand experiences of a breast cancer journey from a spouse’s perspective.
We were able to chat with Wendi about God (Still) Whispers and learn more about her journey during this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness month.
Can you tell us about your story with breast cancer treatment?
Wendi Kelley: Actually, I missed a doctor’s appointment where I had to get the mammogram, my first appointment ever, and went back the next year in 2018 and that’s when I received my diagnosis. I’m from Bowling Green and I had some doctor’s appointments there and got a second opinion here at Vanderbilt Breast Center.
What is your book about?
WK: My book is– the beginning of it does tell my story. I feel like that’s important to share because it gave me some “street cred”, so to speak. Then I give some helpful tips for the patient, for example, a doctor will say, “do you have any questions for me?” Well, you’re still trying to process what you’ve just heard so you don’t even know enough to know what to ask so I give them several pages of questions you can ask maybe right after the diagnosis, questions regarding surgery, questions regarding treatment, questions regarding recovery.
In the back of the book, I have the same questions with a space they can take the book with them to the appointments and actually write in the answers. I also have a section where if you have a friend or family member going through breast cancer. You want to help them so you say “What can I do to help?” Well, the patient doesn’t know that either. They’re just trying to decide if they should take a shower or not. They’re just trying to get through the next thing sometimes. So I give some helpful advice about how you can help your loved one go through the process.
Also, there is a chapter in my book that my husband wrote from the husband’s perspective. It was his idea and I just thought it was a fabulous idea so I took him up on it. He gives some ways, again through his perspective, to help your loved one through the process.
What inspired you to write this book?
WK: Ironically, I am not a reader. I don’t like to read because I can’t sit still long enough. The idea to write a book was almost painful to me but honestly, I felt led to do this. I argued with God for three years. I didn’t want to do it until finally, he thumped me enough that I said, “Okay, I’ll do it but you have to help me through this.” I truly feel like this book is what he wanted to say because when I would sit down to write I’d say, “Okay what are we going to talk about today?” So I would just write what I felt like he wanted to share with others.
What role did Pretty in Pink Boutique play in your breast cancer journey?
WK: Something I learned through the process is your physician can give you a prescription for a fitted bra once you have a mastectomy. Pretty in Pink Boutique helped me with that. They were very conscious of my insecurities and they helped get me fitted for a bra, which on the daily is very important. They were very kind and very helpful with additional information that they shared with me, such as a sleeve. I got a couple of sleeves through them and they were just very helpful.
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone going through treatment right now?
WK: Most of us know someone else going through breast cancer and I would say certainly use them for resources. I wrote my book God (Still) Whispers to be another resource. Also, be open and honest with your physicians and ask them questions and get the answers so you feel confident about the care you’re given.
Pretty In Pink Boutique
Copies of God (Still) Whispers can be purchased at one of Pretty In Pink Boutique’s four Middle Tennessee locations.
If you or a loved one is battling breast cancer, know that Pretty In Pink Boutique provides support through it all. If you are looking for a compassionate ear that will listen or if you have questions, please reach out. Pretty In Pink Boutique is committed to your well-being the whole way through and may be able to assist or provide resources to help you or a loved one.
Please contact us via phone or email and let us know how we can help. Call (615) 777-PINK.