Busta’s Person of the Week: Taneisha Gist’s testimony gives her social media followers hope and an unwavering faith

Busta’s Person of the Week: Taneisha Gist’s testimony gives her social media followers hope and an unwavering faith
September 01
14:28 2021

By Busta Brown

This is a story most of us will only read in a bestselling novel or see in an Oscar-winning film. A story that will make you cry, smile, and laugh. You’ll close the book or leave the movie theater feeling as if you can conquer the world. The best part of this story: it’s real! 

“It can depress you a lot, but when I receive messages of how my story inspires others, it keeps me going. I don’t think God gave me this because I did anything bad. I think he gave me this because he knew I would do exactly what I’m doing,” said Taneisha Gist. 

Taneisha shares her highs and lows, along with pictures from her surgery that’s not for the weak. Taneisha’s testimony has helped so many of her followers get through some serious trials and tribulations, including thoughts of suicide. “I feel like every time I want to shut off my social media or give up, I feel like I’m stopping God’s purpose for my life. It’s not always pleasant, but it creates positivity in the lives of others,” she said. 

Webster’s Dictionary should put a picture of Taneisha next to the word “humility,” because I haven’t met anyone who chooses to put the feelings and needs of others before their own like she does. 

Taneisha Gist is a real-life super hero to me and so many of her followers. No matter what curveball life throws her way, she always finds a way to bounce back and find the beauty in life. And she definitely doesn’t look like what she’s going through, nor will she allow those around her to stay down and depressed. 

Her words of inspiration, love and peace give us hope and strengthen our faith. The more we spoke, I realized how so many of us complain about far less than what this phenomenal woman battles and then triumphs over every day. 

So, allow me to take you back to when it all began. 

In 2015 Taneisha was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. In 2018 her father lost a battle with lymphoma, and then months later she was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. But her conversation with God was full of praise and acceptance.  “I didn’t question God, nor did I have time to break down, because I wanted to make sure my family was OK. My grandmother is like my best friend and I knew she would take it hard. When my dad died, I immediately looked up ways to keep people happy after losing a loved one to stage 4 cancer. I had to keep my family strong by telling them jokes and keeping them smiling. I knew if I broke down, it would be hard for me to come back up, because when I saw my daddy go down mentally during his battle with cancer, he never came back up. And my daddy was a strong man and I’ve nowhere near the strength he had, so I couldn’t allow myself to go down,” shared Taneisha. 

The research on how to make others smile helps her as well. Just when my heart felt heavy, she made me laugh. “Even through my chemo, bald head and looking like an alien, I remained strong. I was like, I can’t let myself go down like I did when I broke up with my boyfriend,” she joked as we both cracked up laughing. 

Her strength and humility are incomparable to anyone I’ve known in my 58 years. While battling Crohn’s and stage 4 breast cancer, her number one concern is how to keep her family and friends from getting down and discouraged. “I can’t let them get depressed because of me.” 

As you can imagine, Taneisha’s battle is extremely tough. I asked her to take us through one of those rough days. “It was the worst when I was in stage 3. The chemo treatments were brutal. My chemo was draining and kept me exhausted. So, I didn’t bring anyone with me because I knew I would try to entertain or comfort them and I wouldn’t have the strength. When I came home from chemo, I had to remove all of the air fresheners in my house because any strong scent would make me sick. The next day I would be so tired, drained, dehydrated, and couldn’t eat because I would develop sores in my mouth, so I could only eat popsicles. The water and food tasted like metal because of the chemo. I couldn’t clean my house or bathe, so my mother would come over to do all of that for me. I couldn’t do anything but cry and sleep. Then wake up and go through it all over again. This would happen for four straight days and then I would have two good days. But then I had to go back to chemo and go through it all again. I would end up in the hospital every other week,” shared Taneisha. 

The Winston-Salem native said stage 4 cancer was surprisingly a blessing because she no longer has to do chemo. But there were other side effects. “I do have to take an injection which shuts my ovaries down and pills that push me into early menopause. I literally have 30 hot flashes a day, so I keep my house cold,” said Gist. Because of her previous chemo, she developed arthritis and the air makes her bones hurt. 

“The medicines did more physical damage than the cancer itself. So, I encourage anyone that’s battling cancer to do your research on the meds that your doctor prescribes,” said Taneisha.

On the happiest day of her life, people began to write her off. Some even accused Taneisha of lying about having stage 4 breast cancer. “I was at my grandmother’s and the doctor called. She said I called to tell you about your scans. She said we don’t see any cancer in your scans. I ran in my mom’s room and then I asked her to say it one more time ‘cause I wanted my mom to hear it too. She said you heard right, we don’t see any cancer in your scans. I never in my life felt so much joy, and I instantly started crying and the doctor was crying with me. I asked my sister to give me some water because I couldn’t breathe. It was that kind of happiness,” said Taneisha as she cried tears of joy. I cried and laughed with her. 

Her positive spirit is infectious. She continued, “I was like, I’m a whole live miracle, because I knew what my last scan said. So, I called everybody that was close to me to share the amazing news. But I didn’t share it with Facebook because I wanted to make sure.  I knew something was wrong, because I kept trying to celebrate and something would always happen when I tried to celebrate,” Taneisha said with a calm and soft delivery. 

She decided to check her MyChart and there it was … The cancer was still there. “I did start crying when I read it and then said what the f— out loud, and my sister heard me. I called and spoke with a nurse and she verified that the charts were correct. They do see cancer in your liver. I immediately thanked God for giving me the strength he instilled in me because no lie, I have never thought of killing myself, but I wanted to die that day. 

“The cancer is almost gone, but the way I’ve been treated and then reading all of these negative comments about me lying was heartbreaking. After going through all of that, the same day people turned their backs on me and accused me of lying, I thought, wow! How could ya’ll think I would get my breast cut off and everything I’ve gone through just for attention? That has been one of my greatest battles. I’m normally pretty tough, but after reading these hurtful accusations, I cried. It really hurt, Busta,” she shared while crying. 

This is part of the story in most movies and novels where the actor says something powerful and inspiring at the end. Well … Super Women are real! There is an inspiring message at the end of this story. 

“Instead of complaining, I make the best of what I can do. I love visiting family and going to the library. I even went skydiving and on a mini-vacation. I can’t just sit around waiting to die. Every day I get up and I live. I look forward to sharing words of inspiration with my Facebook friends so that they will have hope and a strong faith in God. I made a bucket list and I plan on living my best life. I’m going to do all of the things that I love. 

“Busta, I decided to live! One day soon my next stop will be Puerto Rico! I surround myself with positive people that speak life into me, and I suggest anyone that’s going through something do the same. No matter how nice I am, pretty I am, etc., no one can change my situation but God. And through all of this He gives me everything I need to find the beauty in all of this.” 

Taneisha is working toward starting an advocacy agency and outreach program. “I want to be a voice to get the support needed for cancer patients. They go through so much and I want to make life easier and bring them the peace and hope God has given me.

“My favorite quote is, ‘Nothing changes, if nothing changes.” 

My phenomenal Person of the Week is Taneisha Gist.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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