Glamorous Conqueror-Veda “Mother” Frazier
“I’m not gonna lay up here an feel sorry for myself, because there is somebody, somewhere going through worse.” -Veda Fraizer
Vada “Mother” Frazier, is a two-time breast cancer survivor and mother of (NBCF’s) New Beginnings Community Fellowship’s Pastor, Dr. Rodney D. Frazier. Mother is a retired drug and alcohol abuse counselor, she also worked as a nurse prior to retirement.
Mother met with us to discuss her experiences with breast cancer, how it effected her, and she shares with us the things that make her a Glamorous Conqueror! Mother is currently cancer free, but a low functioning upper lobe in her heart keeps her from moving around as swiftly as she had in recent years. But even in the midst of fatigue, she met us happy, smiling, and with style and grace.
Eagerly anticipating the arrival of her guests for a makeover, she left the front door slightly cracked -a silent welcome that screamed, “Come on in!” Wearing a granny smith apple green patterned kaftan with a black turban as her headdress, her look; regal, comfy and relax.
Once the room was set with proper lighting, the makeover and interview commenced; Mother beams while detailing the events from her recent birthday.
“I’m eighty-three. My birthday is June 9th. I went out. Rodney took me out twice,and [NBCF member] Francine brought me some stuff over here, and then I had a margarita! [laughing] The doctor said I could have one, and I had one! But he said I couldn’t have no salt around the glass. [laughing] Oooh it was so good!
Mother tells us about her experiences with breast cancer, and how self-examination lead to her first diagnosis.
“Well, I found a lump, I was just examining my bust [sic]. I was working at that time. And I found a lump in my left bust [sic] right up there, and so the doctors, they removed that [lump]. And with that [diagnosis] I had to have radiation and chemotherapy,” she says. “The chemotherapy that they was giving me was so strong they couldn’t give me much at one time. I had to take it in intervals and, they had, they put a needle in my arm and just kind of pushed it in slowly like that [she demonstrates the narrative]. And to clear the tube out they would put a bottle of saline to clear it out. I couldn’t eat or drink anything with a lot of acid and stuff in it seven days before my treatment and seven days after my treatment,” she says. “I had it once a month. Debbie Greene, one of our church members at the time, she carried me and I went -well, I didn’t…my surgery was at Baylor cause that’s where my surgeon is. But he released me and said I could go [a]round there to the cancer center that was close.”
Her second bout with cancer came unexpectedly, and happened over a decade after the first.
“I went back for a [routine] checkup I had another mammogram and they found a spot in my right bust [sic]. I was just going for a checkup, but they said that it didn’t look like cancer, it looked like calcification. And then they said that -they took a biopsy and they said that it was just calcification, but it could turn into cancer,” she explains.
Mother explained that within several months the calcification had turned into cancer. But this diagnosis didn’t require the same treatment as the first.
“This time I didn’t have to have the chemotherapy,they just did the radiation for another six weeks -everyday. Everyday I had to go for radiation,” she says, then recalls the procedures not taking long. She said that most days she’d be finish with the treatment by the time her ride parked and made it into the treatment center.
“It was the chemo that took most of my energy. But the good thing about it, during my chemotherapy, my ex-daughter in law could carry me to to take my chemotherapy and I could sit up and eat and not get nauseated. I was never nauseated with my chemotherapy,” she says, explaining she got sick only once or twice from radiation.
The conversation shifts to a more pleasant topic and Mother reveals some of the things that made her feel beautiful in the midst of chemotherapy and or radiation.
“Well I’d kind of make my face up, and go to the beauty shop and have my hair done -and things like that. Make my face up -not like you doing [giggles]. But, I would put a little powder and a little lipstick on my face, and that kind of kept me going. Because if someone comes here I didn’t want to be looking too bad, cause you look bad enough when you’re sick. Then to have all these other things going on with you, you know, [it] makes it worse,” Mother says.
The conversation suddenly shifts back.
“The hardest moment for me is when they found the lump in this left bust, I was kind of all right. But then when I went back and they said that i had the spots on my right bust and it could turn to cancer…that just devastated me. Cause I just couldn’t see myself going through all that radiation and chemotherapy again. Cause when I went through the chemotherapy all my hair fell out. The doctor had told me that I was going to lose all my hair, so I had already bought a wig. And so during my third treatment my hair had not fallen out and my daughter-in-law [at that time] said, ‘well maybe your hair is not gonna fall out,” she said. “But when I went [to chemotherapy] the last time, I went to the mirror for my other treatment, I started combing my hair and it all came out until I was bald headed…I was bald headed. The more I’d comb the more hair would come out. But like I said, I had already bought a wig, and then I had, you know, some of them little caps [turbans] like [NBCF member] Francine brought me. I would put them on all the time around the house.”
Affects on the Family
As Mother’s only child, Dr. Frazier explains to us how the news of her diagnosis’, both times, effected him.
“The first time mother was diagnosed was not shocking to me, because I knew that can ran in my family. I prayed that the chemo would get it and it did. The second time was expected because of statistics, but her doctor caught it so early that it was barely detectable. In both cases, I knew God was able and a healer,” he says.
Mother attempts to explain why the second diagnosis made mother so much more emotional than the first.
“I don’t know, it was just -because one thang, I wasn’t expecting it. Uh-ha, I wasn’t expecting it. The first one, I was kind of expecting it, because being a nurse, working in the medical field, when I felt the lump I kind of knew what what going on. But when I went back for a checkup and they did the mammogram for a second one and they found the spot and said it could be cancer, and then took a biopsy, you know. they said “Can we take a biopsy?” and I said, Yeah you can biopsy, you know. Now having no thoughts that it was gonna be cancer. When they took the biopsy they didn’t have to send it to the lab or nothing. The doctor just looked at it with his naked eyed and told me, he said, ‘it’s cancer,’ and so I was just devastated then.” she tell us.
Seventy and Blessed
With poise, confidence and assurance she tells us what kept her going during treatment, and what keeps her going now.
“Well, what kept me going was my age, Meshia. I told Rodney,I said; you know, I said well-uh, I’m older. I said God promise us three scores and ten, and that’s seventy, and he has given me more years than He promised to me, so whatever is His will, I’m ok with it. And I had already…I already told Rodney, well we already had our laugh, to be buried [sic]. I told Rodney what i wanted to be buried in and everything, and I think that really got next to him, you know,” she says.
Mother lives alone and details the component(s) that keep her going now.
“Different ones [sic] -your mother [Francine], and different ones [sic] talking to me, coming over to console me, you know, and stuff like that. And them being with me when I really need someone to be with me and that really helps me.”
Bold and Beautiful
Our last question for mother, as we finished off her look with red lipstick (she requested a custom blend with two shades): How are you feeling?
“I’m feeling real good,” she says looking over at [NBCF member] Francine, smiling. I need her [Shebatty] to go with me next weekend, Francine, to be making up my face [sic]. Have her everyday -my own makeup artist,” she says. “Rodney is gonna take me to Houston and Galveston to get away for a little while -just for the weekend.”
She giggles, then smiles while looking at her reflection, then takes advantage of the photo opportunity. Still smiling she confesses to having makeup remover, but no intentions of washing her face until morning. “I’m too beautiful to wash it off so soon!”
“When strength and beauty go hand-in-hand, we feel and look like conquerers. At GlamCon, we want every woman to leave saying our mantra: ‘Today, I look and feel good. Today, I am a glamorous conqueror!’” -GlamCon Founder, Shantaquilette Carter-Williams