Wednesday, January 13, 2016

When your life is turned upside down...

How quickly a routine medical checkup can turn into a life changing diagnosis!  After a long several weeks of mammograms, ultrasounds, and a biopsy, I was diagnosed with breast cancer just before Thanksgiving.  I was immediately referred to an oncologist, a surgeon, and a radiation oncologist, and spent the next several days alternating between walking around in shock, and making/keeping doctors appointments.  Our first appointment was with an oncologist, and I found out that not only did I have cancer, but that I was estrogen receptor positive, and HER2 positive, both of which can make the cancer more aggressive, making chemo a necessity.  I was really hoping to avoid that! I'll also have 4 weeks of radiation following the chemo, and a pill I have to take for a very long time.
     The good news is that a lumpectomy was recommended, not a mastectomy, and I had that and a lymph node removal done Dec 9.  I had my followup two days before Christmas, and there is no lymph node involvement, and the surgeon got all of the tumor.  Best news I've had in a long time!  This news doesn't really change the treatment, but there is a better chance for long term success now.
     I had a port installed on Jan 7, to make receiving the chemo treatments easier. Chemo is very hard on veins, and mine are not good to begin with, so a port was the way to go.  I will begin chemo as soon as the insurance company authorizes the treatment.  I don't expect any problem with that, it just takes time.

What I've learned:
     God gives us all a certain number of days, and only He knows what they are.  We can improve our chances somewhat by our behavior, but ultimately He decides.  It's up to me to make the most of my days. Whether I live 1 more day, or 30 more years, I want to be greeted in heaven with the words, Well done, my good and faithful servant.
     Fear is not from God!
I have real hope in Jesus Christ!  There was a time right after my diagnosis, that I couldn't even find the words to pray in any way that made sense.  That Sunday our pastor mentioned that when that happens, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us, and prays when we can't.  Donnie had no idea of our situation, but somehow he knew to say that.
     Chemo brain is a real syndrome, and it starts the minute you find out that you have to have it.  I can't remember squat these days!  I see a lot of list making in my future.
     I was reminded that I have the best family and friends on the planet! Especially my sweet husband, who has taken so many days off work, and comes home and listens to me ramble on about whatever I've learned about treatment that day. Everyone has been so supportive, and it's hard to really express my gratitude.


Dee said...

We are ALL praying for another 60 years! I know with your spirit and God's help you will get through this and then you can proudly say YOU KICKED CANCER'S BUTT!

We are all there rooting you on and you know help is just a phone call or text away. (I'm really good at scrubbing and laundry you know!)


Denise Barth said...

You are a very special person who lives in grace and a reverence for the will of God. I have no doubt this episode will serve to help all of us praying for your recovery.

Anonymous said...

To my wonderful, daughter. No parents wants to hear their child has cancer, but we don't get to choose that. I do know God will give you the best life possible and your Dr.s, you and all of us will help make that possible. I will always be there for you and I know you will fight this and with Gds's love you will WIN. With my unconditional Love, Mom

Marcia Hodson said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you. Marcia Henderson Hodson