I have breast cancer. There. I said it out loud. This was one of my struggles for many weeks. To admit my truth out loud without cringing, crying or screaming. But here I am 39 days from diagnosis and 1 day from surgery and I can say it. Even though it is still not easy.
The days since diagnosis have been a roller coaster. One minute I am fine. The next I am crying. I feel like I am in a 12-step program working through the steps. One week I spent in denial. I don’t have cancer. Those doctors are wrong. And then I would read the pathology report with my name on it and my reality would smack me in the face.
The next week I felt like I was faking it. Like the people you hear about in the news who put money jars out to raise money to treat their cancer. Eventually I will get found out and get sentenced to jail for my lie. I never put the jars out though. 😊
I was able to have lunch with a long-time friend. In our 20s, we spent a lot of time together. Like every weekend. I think she was my first friend to hold Riley. The first one I allowed to watch her for a few hours. The first friend I trusted with my firstborn. Well, she was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and is through her treatments and on the other side of this diagnosis with a different perspective than when you are smack dab in the middle of this. She was able to validate some of my random thoughts and the roller coaster I am on and validate that what I am feeling is normal. She is an amazing faithful woman and seeing her and hearing her story was a blessing for me. I am so grateful for her and her wisdom!
Cancer is so very mental and it is hard to stay focused on my blessings in life. I KNOW that I will be fine after this little battle and I KNOW that God will use me through this. I know this because every battle I have fought and won in my life, God has used me to bless someone else and help them through their battles. I know this battle will be no different.
Last week my co-leader and I told our high school small group. I have said before how amazing they are and I am so blessed to lead them. They all laid hands on me and prayed. I cried, so in awe of these strong girls! Last night our student services prayed over Dennis (as I was out of town). I feel like we have so many people praying for us that I will be healed by His miraculous hands, maybe even before surgery!! Ha! Wouldn’t my doctor be surprised by that little miracle!!
Not to sound morbid, but I have spent the last few weeks doing some of my “lasts” before my treatment: last workout, last tennis match, last trip for a while. Thank God this will only be temporary. I have been blessed to be spending time with my family and friends. Weekend in Las Vegas with Dennis and friends, birthday celebration with Dennis and the kids for a hockey game and then dinner with friends, and this past weekend a girl’s trip to Nashville with two awesome high school friends where we were busy seeing the sights! So glad for these distractions to keep my mind busy.
Tomorrow I will undergo lumpectomy and lymph node dissection. I report for duty at 10:30 and will undergo surgery at Virginia Piper Cancer Center. We will need many prayers tomorrow and the next few weeks. Prayers for clean margins of the tumor and clean lymph nodes with no spread of my demon Cruella (my pet name for her). She can go now. She be here too long. We will need prayers this week for my fast and uncomplicated recovery after surgery and the next few weeks before and after radiation. And prayers for the anxiety of this all for Dennis and I and the kids.
Dennis will post an update on the blog in the next few days after surgery.
A meal train has been created and is on our Facebook page.
It is very difficult for me to ask anyone for help. But I have been told that I should not rob others of blessing us. So I thank you all for your support and prayers and everything else!
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right-hand. “Isaiah 41:10