Georgia police officer battles breast cancer with grace
JONESBORO, Ga. - Becky Enslow was the first in her family to go into law enforcement. Still, in so many ways, the Henry County Police officer feels like she was born to do this job.
"When I became a police officer, I had a 2-year old and 5-year old," Becky Enslow says. "And I wanted them to look up to their mother and say, 'She's a hero. She's my hero.'
She wears a badge and gun, but in 7 years on the job with Henry County, the 33-year old has earned a reputation for her big heart, and her soft spot for animals.
"I've saved hundreds of animals," Enslow laughs. "Birds, cats, dogs, baby deer!"
Becky and Luke Enslow, a helicopter pilot for the Spalding County Sheriff's Office, blended their two families when they married 4 years ago. When she's not at work, Becky homeschools their 6 youngest children.
"Altogether, we have 8 children," she says.
But their lives changed December 22, 2017, when doctors found a 5-centimeter mass in Becky's breast.
"I got the diagnosis 2 days before Christmas," she remembers.
It was stage 3a breast cancer, and it had spread to her lymph nodes and into her bloodstream.
"And I, it was, just, everything stopped," Becky Enslow says, then pauses. "Whew. I didn't know I was going to get emotional this early."
Within a month, she was undergoing a double mastectomy, and the first step in surgery to reconstruct her breasts.
"The hardest part has really been not being able to go to work," she says. "That side of my life has just stopped."
But even with cancer, Becky Enslow hasn't really stopped serving. The day of her surgery, she learned her friend and colleague, Locust Grove police officer Chad Maddox had been shot and killed on the job.
His wife was days away from giving birth to their second child. So, when the baby was born, Becky Enslow, still recovering from her mastectomy, quietly organized an escort home from the hospital for Maddox's widow and their newborn son. More than 100 officers from 8 south metro Atlanta counties lined up to bring the Maddoxes home is a sea of blue lights.
"Because that baby is part of our family," Becky Enslow says. "We lost Officer Maddox, but that baby is part of our family."
February 28, 2017, Enslow began chemotherapy at Piedmont Henry Cancer Center.
Three days after her first treatment, she couldn't get out of bed. Luke Enslow had hoped to drive Becky to Whole Foods in Atlanta to load up on healthy food, "to help her heal."
They never made it.
"She got as far as putting her clothes on and then sat down on the floor and couldn't do anything but cry, because she couldn't put her shoes and socks on," Luke says. "And it's just those heartbreaking moments. They wear on you."
Listening, Becky holds Luke's hand.
"It's going to be a long journey," she whispers.
But cancer has reminded Becky and Luke just how loved they are. Her grandmother, a breast cancer survivor herself, invited Becky and Luke to move in part-time with her, so she can care for Becky when Luke needs to work.
Her sister and daughter, helped Becky shave her head, in a mixture of laughter and tears.
When her sick leave ran out, Becky's fellow Henry County police officers lined up to donate their paid vacation to her.
"I don't know if there is any way I can repay them," Enslow says. "All I can do is I can get back to work, and be by their side again."
She will go back to the job she loves, Becky promises.
Until then, Becky Enslow pushes on, and her friend has set up a GoFundMe to support her.
If you would like to donate click here.