|Posted by Joshua Richard on October 9, 2011 at 10:25 AM|
I encourage you each to take a moment to read the story below that was written by a local 30 year old wife, mother, daugther, and devoted Christian. This December will be one year since her diagnosis of Breast Cancer.
I can't confidently say that I noticed the pink ribbons in October 2010, but I can say without a doubt that no pink ribbon has gone unnoticed by me in October of 2011. If I don't see it first, one of my children will inevitably point it out to me. To my family, this symbol really does signify HOPE.
This chapter of my life began in December 2010, when I felt a lump in my right breast that I had never noticed before. Due to my age (30), and lack of a family history of breast cancer, I figured it was just a change in my body. After a couple weeks, I decided that I needed to see my doctor for my own piece of mind. What I didn't know was that this appointment would rock my world. I was sent for a mammogram and ultrasound the following day, which revealed that the lump I felt was attached to a larger tumor that measured 6 1/2 cm. On December 30, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer. We waited till after the New Year to tell our 3 children, who were ages 8, 6, and 4 at that point. We didn't go into a lot of detail, but tried hard to answer all of their questions as honestly as we felt they can handle. My oldest was more aware of what cancer was, and was understandably fearful. However, a few weeks later her fear had been replaced with the knowledge that we would be okay.
I started chemotherapy in January and had my last treatment on June 8. A followup mammogram showed that the chemo had "eaten" through the tumor, but it was still quite large and would require a mastectomy. Wanting to make sure I wouldn't have to go through everything all over again should the cancer return, I opted for a bilateral mastectomy. I had my surgery at the end of August, and the pathology reports showed that there were still "live" cells in my lymph nodes. I will be starting radiation in the middle of October, and will be on a hormone-reducing pill for 5 years, along with an abdominal injection for 2 years to surpress my ovaries.
I would have never chosen this path for my life, but I am greatful for the opportunity to see the goodness in others. I have learned to trust God more than I ever have, and I am learning to grow as a wife, a mother, a daugther, a sister and a friend. God has blessed my family in unimaginable ways. This was not a surprise to HIM, and He has already strategically placed people in my life that would carry me on this journey. My husband took it upon himself to make sure things were taken care of when I just couldn't do them. My Mom wathced our kids every other weekend while I recouped from chemo. Two of my friends knew that my son's birthday was in January, and in an attempt to keep his life as normal as possible and mine free of stress, they took it upon themselves to throw a party for him. My whole journey is laced with stories like this, and our eyes have been opened to how blessed we are. Really, honestly, TRULY blessed! Not long after I was diagnosed I heard a pastor say, "The way I feel doesn't change God's truth," and I have reminded myself of this many times. I have discovered that the truth is that God has plans to bless, and not to harm, just like he promised.
Thank you for sharing your story and reminding us of the promises God has made. While many of us deal daily with medical struggles, it is a wonderful feeling to know that through it all, we will be blessed!
Do you have breast cancer, have a loved one dealing with the disease? Share your journey below with us, we would love to know more.
Leave an enouraging word for those who are making this journey. Whatever you do, go out and be aware that this disease can strike at any time, but whenever it may strike, know that God has stategically planned it all.