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9:50 AM Thu, Nov. 15th

Faith helps Chino woman deal with cancer

People & Places: Lifestyle changes help Eva Ekdahl stay cancer-free

Eva today, 4 years cancer-free. (Courtesy)

Eva today, 4 years cancer-free. (Courtesy)

As of March of this year there are more the 3.1 million women with a history of breast cancer. Four years ago on her 50th birthday Eva Ekdahl of Chino Valley, received the devastating news that she had breast cancer.

October is National Breast Cancer month.

“Two days later I had a surgical biopsy, and a month later I went into surgery and had both breasts removed because I had a very aggressive form of cancer and the doctor said it would eventually go to the other breast. After they analyzed the tissue, it was determined I was in Phase 3, because they found an invasive tumor that the mammogram hadn’t picked up, so I had to start chemo,” Ekdahl said.

“My family (husband Steven, daughter Stephanie, and son Raymond) were all distraught, and my husband said, ‘Eva don’t leave me.’ I told him I am not in control of this, but God knows my beginning and my end. I was laying on the couch wondering if I was going to make it and I read a picture on my wall that said, ‘Be still and know that I am God.’

“That made me think. I thought I am healthy, and I got up, got dressed and went out walking on our acreage listening to My Redeemer Lives on my Walkman. I asked God to give me strength and while I was out there every morning, I learned to appreciate all the little things, like the birds chirping, and the sun shining etc., and I have now been cancer-free for four years,” she said, smiling.

Ekdahl was in chemo treatment for six months; she went every three weeks for 5-6 hour sessions. Now that she is cancer-free, she takes a tamoxifen pill, which she needs to take for the next 10 years to keep her in the 98 percent cure rate.

“Since my cancer, I have changed my eating habits too. I eat lots of veggies, a small amount of fruit (because of the sugar), no beef, and I drink pro-biotic called kombucha, which is good for energy, Of course the love and support of my family, Chino Valley Medical, and everyone in the community has been amazing and has helped me get through this,” Ekdahl added.

After her cancer treatments, Ekdahl wanted to get right back to her work as a phlebotomist at Senora Quest here in Chino Valley.

“I am so grateful to wake up every morning to be able to serve my patients, but they are really serving me with all the support they are giving me. This is a new chapter in my life and I’m excited to see what God has in store for my journey,” Ekdahl said. “I am forever grateful that God carried me through. God gets all the glory!”

Eva Ekdahl wants any ladies out there who may be facing cancer to know they are welcome to call her with any questions or just to talk. Call 928-830-4417.