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Monday, December 29, 2008

The FINAL Chapter......Goodbye 2008, Hello 2009!!

Well, I finally made it. December 29Th.......a day that I have been anxiously waiting for. This morning I will have surgery to replace my tissue expanders with implants. For those of you who have been keeping up with my blog, you know that I have not been a fan of the tissue expanders. First of all, they are rock hard.....and I am not kidding! Second, they have made my newly formed breasts very uneven. The purpose of the tissue expanders is to stretch the skin and that is about it. So, for more than five months I have walked around with what feels like cannon balls on my chest, absolutely no cleavage, and two "breasts" that are somewhat disfigured. However, today is a new day! I'm not exactly sure how long the procedure will take, but my plastic surgeon will remove the expanders, clean out all the scar tissue, hopefully create some cleavage (can you believe they can do that?) and then slip in some nice silicone implants. In addition, he is also going to remove my port. This is almost as exciting as getting new boobs. My port represents the beginning of this journey. It was the first thing I had put in just a few weeks after my diagnosis. It was used at every chemo treatment. Today, I get to kiss it goodbye.

I am so happy to be able to close out 2008 by having this surgery before the New Year. 2008 was not a very good year for our family or for many of our friends. Yesterday morning at church, Pastor Curt gave a sermon on being thankful. He explained how we are to be thankful in all of our circumstances, not just those that go our way. I have not been perfect by any stretch of the imagination, however, I have tried my best to be thankful for what God has done for me. I often think of all the prayers he has answered and am amazed by His graciousness and mercy. Yesterday Ryan and I were talking how in the midst of all the grief, pain, uncertainty, and doubt, that God continued to pull us through and ultimately made things easy for us. Please don't think for a second that the past 6 months were a walk in the park. However, because of our relationship with God and all the people praying for us, we were able to make it through this journey with our heads held high and with an end in sight. Praise God!

December 29Th has always been a significant day in our house. Ryan and I were married 7 years ago today. We could NEVER have imagined what our 7Th year of marriage would bring. Nor, could we ever have imagined that on our 7Th wedding anniversary I would be getting implants. (Happy Anniversary Ryan!) In addition to our anniversary, our daughter Charley is 2 1/2 today. I was diagnosed two weeks before her second birthday. To think that she is 2 1/2 today is just another reminder of how quickly the past six months have gone by. I am looking forward to being the mother and wife I was before my diagnosis....only better!

In closing, I am going to paste an older post below. This was the post that I did the morning before I went to the hospital for my bilateral mastectomy on July 16Th. That was a hard day, but also the day I became cancer free. When I left the hospital two days later, I still had a four months of chemotherapy ahead of me. Tonight when I leave the hospital, I have life ahead of me. I hope those of you who have continued to follow this blog have found yourself inspired. I hope you have found encouragement in the midst of your own trials. Thank you for your continued prayers and support. ~ God Bless ~

Blog Entry: July 16Th 2008

Would you believe that I actually slept for about 4 hours last night? God was gracious in giving me at least that much sleep. I did wake up a little earlier than I had hoped, but now I am able to squeeze one more post in before heading to the hospital. This is it. Today God is taking this awful cancer from my body and I am faithful that I will never have to worry about cancer again. Thank you Lord.

Most of you know my husband Ryan, but for those of you who do not, let me tell you that he is the most compassionate and loving man I know. Yesterday, he sent me an email that really portrays who he is as a person. I wanted to share it with all of you so you would know the strength and encouragement that I am so very fortunate to have from Ryan. Here is the email that he sent me:

"Mel, you are more than a conqueror! You are guided by God....you cannot lose....He battles for you! Be comforted, accept the peace He offers you through this journey...its yours for the taking.

I, along with our entire family, are backing you up 100%!!

Thank you for what you are doing about this breast cancer...THANK YOU!!! I can't wait to see the look on Charley's face one of these days when she realizes how much her Mommy loves her!!! That will be a great day!

Stay strong, there are many people who are relying on you right now. As for Charley and I, no worries, no drama.....just know we love you and will be by your side for every moment of this! We look forward to NOON tomorrow....cancer free."

Lord, thank you for Ryan. Thank you for giving me such a loving husband who stands firm in his faith and sees the goodness you are bringing to our family through this unfortunate circumstance. We know that this is all a part of your perfect plan for my life. Lord, be with me this morning. Take every ounce of this cancer from my body. I pray that the cancer would still be contained to the breast. Be with Dr. Cavagnol and Dr. Geter as you use them to heal me and make me whole. Be their hands and comfort them as they work on me. Bring me strength and healing Lord. Let this be a day of celebration as you heal me from cancer. Allow peace to overcome fear and perseverance to overcome doubts. God you are so good. I love you. Continue to use me to further you kingdom. Amen.

Time to be CANCER FREE!!!

7 comments:

Rachel Peacock-Young said...

We are praying for you Mel. I will also pray for Wasson to contain himself with your new additions. What a great Anniversary present...
This journey is almost over, God is good!

H P Austin said...

YIPPEE! Today is the first day of the rest of your life! I think you are in surgery right now. I have been praying for you and Dr. Geter ever since I woke up. You're in good hands. Talk to you soon. I am so happy for you guys. I Love you!

feolafitness said...

What a journey you have been on these past 6 months! God has already used you in countless ways for His glory, and I know He will continue to use your experience and testimony in the years to come!

Kathee Baird said...

I must say that I have visited your blog only a few times. My cousin is a breast cancer SURVIVOR, so your situation resonated with me.

May GOD bless you and your family on your journey!!! BTW, Happy Anniversary....hopefully you and hubby will be able to take a nice relaxing romantic trip when you feel up to it.

In the words of Tom Petty, "The waiting is the hardest part."

Jenn said...

Happy anniversary! We will keep you in our prayers for a speedy recovery!

We celebrated the day our son's port was removed also. It is a physical removal with an emotional breakthrough.God bless!

Anne said...

Mel,

What an awesome day! I have been thinking of you so much. I am so proud of you for how you have handled your tough journey and remained so positive! We all have so much to be thankful for. I can't wait to see your new boobies! Covered up of course...

Love and God bless!

Anne

Anonymous said...

Your husband's email just made me burst into tears. Thank you for sharing it. I am also blessed with a hubby and children who have stood by my side every step of the way throughout this journey.

The part in his email to you that really got me is that he thanked you for doing this. I never realized until he said that that we had a choice - but we do. You and I have a similar diagnoses and we have made very similar choices. I didnt think twice about any of it - I just did what I had to do to survive, to be there for my family. I never realized before that I suppose we could have chosen not do to these things because they were really difficult. We could have done less or we could have totally given up. But we didnt and we were strong and we fought back. And its so beautiful that he thanked you for doing that.

So thanks again for sharing your truly inspirational email for me!