I want to begin by saying, this is going to be a rather lengthy post, so please take time to read it when you have time. First of all, Praise God! I actually had a decent night's sleep. I have been going to bed later which I am not used to, but at least in the wee hours of the night I am able to rest. As I have mentioned in previous posts, this blog has been created to serve a multitude of purposes. I want an out. I need a place to bring my anger, my fear (and yes I do have some), my grief, and my struggles. However, more important than any of those things, I have created this blog so that others can read of God's love and the miracles only He can perform. I know He is using me to strengthen the faith of all those who read this. I am a little surprised that He chose me, but as it says in Jeremiah 29:11, I know He will not bring harm to my life, only things that give me hope and allow me to prosper. Finally, I want other women (and perhaps a hand-full of men who might be reading this) to be inspired by my story. I hope to save other women's lives through this blog.
I want to give all of you a little history and help you understand how this whole thing came to be. My great-grandmother died of breast cancer at the age of 44. My paternal grandmother also had breast cancer in her fifties. She won her battle and went on to live another 20 years. At the age of 35 (and we thought that was young), my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was in the 4th grade. Six months after her first diagnosis, she was told she had cancer in her other breast. The cancer had not spread from one breast to the other. She had a completely different kind of cancer in the other breast. When the whole thing was said and done, she had a double mastectomy with no reconstruction. The greatest thing is that she is still alive after 20 years! She survived and so have so many other women. Because of my mom's history, I had been very proactive in doing self exams. I had my first mammogram and ultrasound at age 25 before having children. These tests both showed nothing. That was just three years ago. At the time, I was told by the radiologist that it wouldn't be necessary to have another mammogram until I was in my early 30's and after my child-bearing years. A year later I gave birth to Charley who will be two in just two weeks. I knew I wanted to be done having children by the age of 30, so Ryan and I had planned to try and get pregnant this summer. I had decided that prior to getting pregnant I wanted to get a mammogram just as a precautionary measure. My doctor ordered it for me with no hesitation. I had no reason to get one other than I wanted one. I was continuing to do self-breast exams and had not felt anything suspicious. My appointment was scheduled for March 28th. However, somehow I thought it was in May, so I missed my March appointment. I rescheduled my appointment for June 2nd, still not feeling anything unordinary. About 3 weeks before my appointment is when I discovered this lump. Within a two week time period I had a mammogram, an ultrasound, a biopsy, and discovered that I have breast cancer. The only reason that I know about the cancer is because of early detection. I do have a strong family history, but just because breast cancer doesn't run in your family doesn't mean that you need to be passive. Women survive breast cancer because of early detection. Had I not caught this when I did or had I chose to ignore it because of fear, it would have continued to grow and spread. Please allow me to be an example. Tell your friends and loved ones about me. Perhaps lives will be saved.
Next week is a busy week. Monday I see the oncologist. Tuesday I see the surgeon. Wednesday I see the OBGYN. Ryan and were hoping that the doctors' offices would just start me a tab! Ha! I talked to my mom last night on the phone and I asked her to pray a very specific prayer and I am going to ask all of you to do the same. Remember the rules: If you read this blog, you are required to pray for me and my family. Please pray that although we know the cancer is aggressive, that it has not spread to ANY of the lymph nodes and that we caught it early. Also, please pray that any treatment I have to receive would be quick and easy on my body. Thank you all for the prayers. I am encouraged each and every day!
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance". James 1:2