Sunday, January 15, 2017
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
The next biggest update is a story I never really intended to have to tell you guys. Back in September my Medical Oncologist sent my tumor off for some additional 3rd party testing. This is a test that exists for patients with my type of breast cancer to determine whether or not there would be any benefit from chemotherapy. We were expecting the scores to come back really encouraging and to have confirmation on the plan of care, but, instead, the results we got were a little perplexing.
Long story short, my tumor tissue is currently in transit to my doctor who will have her specialized pathology lab perform a confirmatory test (to make sure the results are legit) before we make any real decisions. Please pray that her team is able to bring clarity to my results, and that (yes we are still praying for this =) these results will create ability for a clear treatment plan to be made. I will definitely update you guys through this site once I know anything more on this front (I have no real clue when it will be, but my best guess is sometime in January).
These results really threw me for a loop. Full disclosure, I've really struggled with the news. The surgery I had on the 14th was one I had really been looking forward to as sort of 'the last big thing'. The end to this crazy season. Then, 6:30pm the Friday before surgery I get a call and learn that may not be the case. It's been a crazy couple of weeks to say the least.
Meanwhile, I've started on the Tamoxifen. This is a little anti-hormone pill I will take every day for 5 years. This is the one part of my treatment plan that is not convoluted, and is an absolute must. I have to say, taking it for the first time was a little emotional for me in a way I wasn't expecting. It was sad for me. It was like a little reminder that I've had a disease. The hope, and what I am believing (most days - when fear doesn't set in ;), is that I am healed, and that this little pill will just prevent recurrence. The same would be true of any additional treatment I might need. This perspective has helped return me to a more peaceful state while I wait on the additional test results and finalization of treatment plan.
Thank you all for continuing to follow and join in my journey. I continue to be so very humbled and grateful for the support that has been provided. If I don't check back before - I wish you all a very Happy Holiday Season! May we all get good time with loved ones and intentionally reflect on the many things for which we have to be grateful.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Phil 4:4
Monday, September 26, 2016
- Will know treatment plan in next 2-3 weeks
- Been going through tissue expansion process. It stinks, but it’s over...yay!
- Going on a cruise tomorrow
- Start back to work next week
- Breast reconstruction process on hold until treatment plan is identified (if chemo is not needed, reconstruction will likely take place in mid november) after second opinion appointment next week
- Went on a 5 day cruise to Cozumel - this was an amazing time with sweet friends. It helped my body relax in a way it hadn’t been able to do at home, and as crazy as this might sound, it really prepared me for going back to work. It was the first time I had been out of the house for more than a few hours since my mastectomy on Aug 3, and it helped me identify that I am stronger than I thought and also helped increase my stamina.
- Last Wednesday, I had a second opinion appointment where it was confirmed that I will not require chemotherapy or radiation treatment! I will be doing systemic treatment in the form of a pill called Tamoxifen for 5 years. As far as potential boats I could be in, I have really ended up in a good one, and I am extremely grateful.
- I wanted to update you guys sooner, but Thursday I went back to work (so I just haven't had time)! I definitely noticed some limitations, and I still deal with pain and discomfort of some sort on a daily basis, but I was pleasantly surprised with how I felt overall. We were pretty slow, so hopefully I continue to be pleasantly surprised on days with heavier patient loads.
- Since I am not requiring chemo or radiation, my plastic surgeon is looking to get me scheduled sometime mid-November. I also have an inguinal hernia I plan to have repaired at the same time (I know I know, I’m fallin’ apart ;), so I imagine that sometime this week the general surgeon and the plastic surgeon will be able to figure out a date that works for them both and will get me scheduled.
- Trusting God is a choice (not a feeling).
- Focus on God -- not the cancer.
- As Job said, “Yet will I praise Him!”
God truly gets me through each day as I strive to follow these three pieces of advice on a minute to minute basis. These simple reminders are so relevant to any of life’s numerous challenges, and I hope they encourage and challenge some of you as they have me. It has been so humbling to watch many of my prayer requests turn into praises, and I ask you each to continue praying and praising alongside me as I walk this journey.
Thursday, August 25, 2016
I'm also very thankful for the amount of love and support I've received. I know my text replies have been somewhat skimpy especially in the last couple of days while I've taken time to process (and honestly also been especially tired and sleeping a lot). I am leaning on this blog to keep everyone who wants to know updated. If you want to be among the first to hear these updates, please use the "Follow by Email" box to have these posts come directly to your inbox.
A few tips on where I'm at and how you can support me these days:
- If I haven't updated here, I might not be ready to talk cancer updates just yet
- Keep the texts coming that let me know you are thinking about me but don't require response
- Check here
- Call me or email me if you wanna really catch up on how I'm doing (I'm not big on texting in general and it overwhelms me to text about this kinda stuff because, in case you haven't gathered, I'm not a short version of the story kinda gal;)
- Keep Praying! I've updated my prayer requests on the right hand side of the blog (have to be in full web version to view this from a phone)
Thursday, August 11, 2016
I will meet with a medical oncologist on August 23rd. Until that time I really won't have an update on the treatment plan ahead. Please continue to pray that a clear treatment plan develops in the next couple weeks.
In John 16:33 Jesus says "...In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."Peter reminds us in 1 Peter 4:12 "Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you." It's not a matter of if, but it's a matter of when these things will occur. It doesn't make these times any less difficult, sad, or frustrating, but my point is that they should not surprise us. The answer to the question "Why?" would be a whole separate blog post. In fact many have written whole books on the matter, so I won't get into that at this juncture (though I might have a quote or two at the bottom of the post that speaks to that).
Another theme of the week, which ties in to the first two, is the "why" behind unwavering peace and hope. I was not ready for this until I was in it. Each day He has given me what I need to have peace and joy in the midst of whatever is happening that day. Monday was a miserable day. Sunday night my dinner did not settle well. I sat in miserable nausea from 11-2am when I finally vomited about 1.5 Liters. Thus why Monday was miserable. You can imagine the action of aggressive vomiting after a bilateral mastectomy would be quite painful - it took all day Monday to catch back up on my pain management. This also left me weak and dehydrated. All this just one day after I felt well enough to put on a dress, high heels, and makeup and go to church. It was frustrating to relapse, but the thing is my hope and my joy remained because"He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.(Isaiah 53:3-5)"
If you actually made it this far CONGRATULATIONS, if you took my advice at the beginning of this post it's probably time for a refill!
Thursday, August 4, 2016
I was supposed to do this last night but wasn't think about it at the time. Everything with Alise's surgery went smoothly yesterday. Thank you all for your prayers throughout the day--they were certainly answered!
The surgery ended up going from about 4pm to 8pm, and then she spent a couple hours in post-op recovery. We finally got all settled in her room at around 10:45.
Please continue to pray as Alise recovers: for comfort and manageable pain and good, peaceful sleep.
Love you all,