By Kay S. PedrottiFelicia Kirby of Barnesville, 37, got what she called the ‘best present ever’ on her birthday last Jan. 6 ‘“ she became free of breast cancer after double mastectomy surgery that day.’What better thing could I have asked for?’ she noted. ‘I was diagnosed in November 2013 and had two biopsies after a mammogram. The cancer was caught early. I’m having four rounds of chemotherapy but that’s nothing to complain about when I consider what other people might have to endure to get cancer out of their bodies.’The experience has made her truly enjoy life, just like a step-uncle she was fond of: ‘He was something of a grump but when he got cancer he changed into a different, loving person.’ Felicia refuses to ‘lay down and cry and pity myself,’ because she knows God has been with her through every step and will be there in her future.’I just had one very hard time through this. That was when the plastic surgeon who was going to do my reconstruction cancelled the Friday before surgery was scheduled on Monday. It was a dark moment for me but I got over it in less than an hour. You just do what you have to do ‘“ move on and get through it,’ she said.She is undecided whether to try for reconstruction now but leaning toward not having it. Felicia’s sense of humor comes through when she says, ‘I had a friend who told me I could just get a tattoo on my chest that says ‘˜Front.” Another surgery wouldn’t allow her to enjoy the high moment of her life now ‘“ the anticipated arrival of a granddaughter already named Bella Grace. Felicia’s daughter, Cherokee Rose Kirby, is 19 and expecting any day now. Felicia also has a son, Robert Odom, who is an honors classes sophomore at Lamar County high school.The survivor’s struggle hasn’t been easy, which makes her positive and upbeat attitude all the more wonderful. After the mastectomy surgery, she had to have emergency surgery to correct a large hematoma on her right side. ‘When I came through that, as soon as I woke up, I saw someone in the corner of the room sitting in a chair. I didn’t look at the doctor patting my hand but immediately asked that woman, ‘˜Were you praying?’ She said she had been. That’s when I knew that I’d be okay, that God had something more in mind for me.I’ve strayed but I’m trying hard to get back to where I was four years ago when God and I were close ‘“ He didn’t move, I did.’She has high praise for her Spalding doctors, surgeon Dr. David Moore and oncologist Dr. Jorge Spinolo at Georgia Cancer Specialists.Felicia has only a parttime job at Ingle’s now but wants a full-time position or another job when she finishes her chemo. A graduate of Mary Persons High School in Forsyth, she has lived in Barnesville about 14 years and is trained as a nail technician.She has one more goal for the time after chemo: ‘I’m going to be like that person I saw on Facebook surrounded by sushi. I can’t eat it yet but I plan to eat a lot, I mean a lot, when I can again.’She also will participate in Relay for Life on May 3, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at the recreation field off Gordon Road.
Felicia Kirby doesn’t do pity parties
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