County Chamber of Commerce
By Tom Chillemi
After winning her battle with cancer Elizabeth Goins of
Urbanna knows the power of her faith. Trusting a Higher Power helped Goins
through the low points this year, including the loss of her mother. "When
you've got a situation that you can't control, let God control it," she said
last week. "There is nothing you can do but trust Him and believe that He's
going to bring you out of it. "I thank God, he gave me faith and lifted me off
my sick bed," said Goins, who is a licensed minister. It was Goins' energy the
revived the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce in 2006 and helped it grow to 76
members before she got sick last winter. She is still president of the
organization that will start its third year in January.
Goins is a Water View native who pursued a career in Washington, D.C. before returning to Middlesex.
This bout with breast cancer was not Goins' first. About 17 years ago, at the
age of 38, she lost a breast to surgery. In February 2008 a routine mammogram
revealed an abnormality. "I was in denial when they first told me," said Goins.
Even after a specialist confirmed there were two spots of a very serious
cancer, she refused the surgery and opted to have four chemotherapy treatments.
"It was a nightmare. I had to take the stronger dose and it took all my hair
out." During this time her mother Katherine Goins Green went to glory. "All
this made me feel like I was in a never ending tornado," said Goins, adding the
loss of her mother put Goins in another state of mind. Doctor's did not think
the chemotherapy would work against this tough strain of cancer, she said, and
surgery was the best option. Today, 8 months after surgery, she feels stronger
than before. During the depression that cancer brings, Goins drew strength, not
only from her faith, but family and friends, and others with the disease.
She was self conscious when all her hair fell out and she didn't believe people who
told her she looked good. "But they never knew how I felt on the inside," said
Goins. "I felt like I was less of a woman. My breast was gone, my hair was
gone, and I just had a hard time feeling like I was beautiful. "Well thanks be
to God there were people around me that kept telling me that until I would
eventually believe it myself." The power of faith It was at the cancer
counseling center that Goins sorted things out in her mind. "Everybody there
was the same as me . . . trying to get better." Some people didn't make it,
their absence from the meeting put things in perspective, Goins said. "I'm just
thankful I'm still alive. I tell my kids, 'I'm just going to enjoy my life and
be happy with what I have.' " Much of the literature at the counseling center
referred to faith and the power of positive thought.
Goins plans to write about her experiences battling cancer.
"I would tell others to, 'Stay positive and stay around positive people.' " During trying times, Goins got lots of
encouragement. "People told me, 'Keep the faith. God told me you're going to
live.' All kinds of people prayed for me and that was a blessing. "I really
want people to know my story because if there is someone out there going
through something similar I want them to know they are not alone and that they
can fight it and make it through with God's help."