Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Brief Respite

Yesterday, I was reminded again of God's graciousness in our lives over the last year and a half. As I sat in my oncologist's office for my check-up, a resident doctor came in to observe and review my file. While we waited on the oncologist to come in, the resident asked me about my cancer story and he perused my file. After a minute, he seemed startled and asked, "You mean your cancer was hormone negative and HER2 positive and it was just a stage 1?" Yes. I don't think I have ever been in denial, but I choose to not dwell on "what could be or might be," but to take each day as it comes, trusting the Lord for enough strength for the day. (Matthew 6:34) It had been a while since I had been reminded just how serious my cancer diagnosis was and could have been.
  1. Only about 25% of women get the kind of cancer I got.
  2. It is a highly aggressive cancer and could have only been in my body for a couple of months at most to still be a stage 1.
  3. It was a miracle that I realized something had changed and I needed to talk with my doctor.
  4. It was another miracle that my doctor agreed to send me to a specialist after a radiologist, 2 mammograms and 3 ultrasounds said that there was nothing there.
Whatever the reasons, I may never know, but I got to share again how God had taken care of us and how He had used the delay in my diagnosis, and held the growth at bay, so that we could adopt our youngest son!

So where am I now and what do I have planned for the future? :)
  1. I just finished my last visit with my plastic surgeon yesterday! I get a brief respite. The expanding process with the skin is done and so we have scheduled surgery for July to remove the expanders and replace them with the implants. The whole process from surgery, healing, reconstructing and tatooing will take about 6 months.
  2. My 7th echocardiogram came back showing that my heart is on the mend. Still not all the way there, but heading in the right direction! My heart muscle had been damaged by the year-long treatments.
  3. I am still sleeping in the recliner...since March 16th! Although I love my recliner, I am longing for my bed. The problem is just that the expanders are too uncomfortable to lay on either side and too heavy for me to lay on my back...I can't breath. :(
  4. We have planned my surgery for July instead of June so that I can take a trip to Colorado to see my family and attend my grandparent's 70th wedding anniversary! YES, 70th!!!
  5. As of now, I am considered "cancer free!" With my type of cancer, the highest rate of return is within the first 2 years. I will be holding my breath till January, my 2 year mark. :) The rate is slightly less for it to return within 5 years. After that, there is a 92% success rate! So, for now it is just up to me to know my body and be on the lookout for any strange aches or pains that don't go away. No pressure there. ;)
So, I am grateful for God's blessings and His grace! I am so thankful for this Mother's Day that just passed, and I am looking forward to school getting out and spending a fun summer with my family!


Sara said...

Girl, with our odds of getting rare things we should go to Vegas! So glad you are one step closer to the finish line!

Peter and Nancy said...

I am so happy to hear about every good appointment you have. I always wonder what scientific people/doctors are thinking when they hear the gratitude of someone who attributes their healing or circumstances to God . . . it was good that you shared the real story with her/him. As usual, your honest journey of faith through this is an encouragement to me, and I will keep praying for your total healing -- especially the January benchmark!


jason said...

So glad you got some good news this week! And you deserve the break! :).

From Kristi W., too lazy to sign into my account...