When Loredana was first diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2019, she was troubled, to say the least.
“It’s amazing how quickly things happened,” she begins. “It was such an overwhelming situation, especially after watching my father go through his cancer journey. I didn’t want that for me.”
But despite the fear that such news naturally brings on, it didn’t take Loredana very long to realize that there was something much greater going on behind the scenes.
“One morning I woke up in dreadful tears,” she relays. “Really upset, really lost, feeling uncertain. And I was just called to pick up the Rosary. It was an immediate impulse.”
After yielding to that instinct,
“I just felt this need to surrender everything – every decision, every circumstance, what’s happened… Almost like this vessel was completely emptied out into the grace of why I was being brought here in the first place.”
Through this experience, Loredana began to realize that, “Sometimes we’re afflicted by things and there’s a real reason and purpose in everything that happens.”
And while this reason still remained unclear, her interior conviction that there was a greater purpose to her diagnosis kept Loredana hopeful, and relieved her of the immense stress that she had felt since the beginning of her journey.
On the morning of her extraction surgery, Loredana woke up and looked outside her window as she usually does. Only this time, she saw something unusual.
“It was an illuminated white cross,” she describes. “I was just rubbing my eyes, looking for where it was coming from or being projected from, but I couldn’t see anything.”
She took that as a sign that God was watching over her, a sign that was brought to completion during the surgery.
“I was strapped onto the operating table in the form of a cross. And all I could think about was Jesus suffering on the cross. And then I was overwhelmed with an emotion that helped me see the suffering of Mother Mary.”
As a result of this feeling, “I called on her grace and prayed, ‘Into your hands, I lay myself.’ And it was just when the anesthesia was starting to kick in, so I really felt like I was taken into her hands.”
After that initial moment of surrender, things really began to turn around for Loredana. The surgery, slated for two and a half hours, was completed in a mere 45 minutes – a span of time which shocked everyone, including the surgeon!
Following the procedure, Loredana visited her oncologist to discuss treatment options. But while present at her two consultation appointments, she couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong.
“There was a knot within me that I couldn’t untie,” she reflects. “I felt like this wasn’t right for me.”
As a result, Loredana declined further treatment, saying of her decision,
“I just turned to the Lord and realized that nothing that’s done unto me should be corrected. If I was diagnosed for a purpose in God’s eyes, then I will serve that purpose.”
“I didn’t want to interfere with God’s plan, and that included death. If that was God’s plan, I accepted that. I felt more secure just trusting in His plan.”
Two years after walking away from conventional treatment, and Loredana is cancer-free. But she isn’t the same person that she was before her diagnosis.
“Having faith really makes you lighter,” she says, smiling wide. “I’m a lighter person because I know that God is always going to watch over me. Surrendering to God doesn’t mean I don’t care; it means that I care enough to put my faith and trust in God!”
Putting her trust in God first also helped Loredana to see her former habits for what they truly were – psychological safety nets.
“I realized that there were many things that I was holding onto as a way of feeling safe. Like reading a horoscope, for example, and thinking that it’s going to change the direction of my life when all I really need to change anything – if change is needed – is God!”
More than anything, Loredana’s experience with cancer has prompted her to dive deep into her faith, nurturing her relationship with her Heavenly Father.
“This diagnosis was the pivotal point that made me realize that I am more than just someone who goes to church on Sunday,” Loredana attests.
“I am a living child of God! I have a purpose and mission in this world that goes beyond the work I do. It’s oriented toward salvation – and not just my own, but I can also help God to save others.”
As a result, “I really try to uphold who I am and how I show up in the world. I can convey a message in my actions as well as my words.”
In addition to holding herself to a higher standard of living, Loredana is also diligent when it comes to serving other people.
“I’m constantly thinking about who’s in need, who really needs God’s reassurance today.”
Loredana is also conscious of the need to pay forward the blessing she received from God.
“I feel that, if I had this miraculous blessing, how do I continue to bring that blessing forward so that others can experience a blessing?”
Loredana is quick to point out, though, that the blessing to which she refers isn’t what we might think.
“The blessing wasn’t being cured. The blessing was that I developed a strong relationship with God and became secure in my faith, and that can’t be shattered.”
“Getting breast cancer was sort of like an anchor,” she explains. “Not having faith led me to fear, but now that I have this deep faith, I’m not really afraid of anything, even my own mortality. If I were to get sick again, I would be okay with that.”
The serene look on her face only confirms her remarkably courageous affirmation.
“Come what may,” she concludes with a grin. “I’ll be here.”