Police Chief, Wife Go Public With Her Cancer Battle In Hopes Of Inspiring Others
Kim Revell and her husband, Tallahassee Police Chief Lawrence Revell, offer their experience so others afflicted with cancer or other life-threatening circumstances might survive and even thrive.
Many Tallahasseeans have fought cancer and lived to tell the tale. But one of the Capital City's more prominent couples is using their encounter with the illness to bring comfort and inspiration to others.
Tallahassee Police Chief Lawrence Revell said the memory of what happened to his wife, Kim, remains fresh and frightening.
"She just knew something wasn't right for a while," he said. "And then trying to figure out what that was. Eventually, she was at vacation Bible school and felt a lump; just reached under to adjust her bra innocently and felt something that didn't feel right, and it went from there."
Kim Revell picked up the story from there.
"The day I was standing in vacation Bible school was the first week of June in 2019," she said. "I made an appointment with my gynogologist to have it checked. We had to go through ultrasound, biopsy and then results of the biopsy. So from the day I found it to my surgery day was about a month and a half."
For both Revells, the news hit hard.
"Of course, you're terrified," the police chief recalled. "I was terrified and I know she was as well. And just the shock of, 'Wow! This is really happening!' But for Kim and I, our faith is very, very important and we knew we had to trust God in the moment."
For Kim Revell, what happened next was a whirlwind of activity, most of it at the Tallahassee Memorial Cancer Center.
"Everyone was there holding my hand, answering my questions and moving me as fast as they could," she said. "I was in the process of reconstruction when the pathology came back. The plastic surgeons were like, 'Boom, boom, boom. Let's get this part done so you can start chemo.' And we started that really quickly and everything was just wonderful."
But after the surgeries and the medical follow-ups are over, an uneasy, persistent question occasionally asserts itself. What if the cancer returns? The chief was first to address that worry.
"We have very close friends who have had reoccurences with family members and are dealing with that currently, so that's something Kim and I, certainly ... it's in the back of our mind dealing with that. But again, we just try to focus on what we can do right now to help others and to lift others up and not focus on ourselves," he said.
Kim Revell was quick to admit she had an emotional response to her situation.
"Everybody when they hear the diagnosis goes through the stages of grief where you question, 'Why? Why me?' What I didn't expect at the end was, I was healed, God got me through this. But I didn't expect the survivor's guilt," dhr dsif.
That guilt, she said, was primarily sparked by the 2014 breast cancer death of Joanna Francis, co-founder of the Living Well Foundation and a vacation Bible school colleague.
"When I look at Joanna and why did Joanna not survive and I did survive, it gives me drive and I want to reach out for that purpose of why I did survive," she said.
That's why the couple are offering their experience as a possible template, an example of how others who are afflicted with cancer or other life-threatening circumstances might survive and even thrive.
"My advice would be to just look around and see what other people are going through and just keep things in perspective as best we can," the chief said. "It doesn't mean that our problems aren't big to us, and they are, because they're our problems no matter what they are. But when we can keep that perspective, it certainly helps us get through that journey."
Copyright 2021 WFSU. To see more, visit WFSU.