Monday, April 9, 2012
You Have Cancer
"You have cancer". Three words I thought I would never hear. Maybe when I am old and gray, but not while I'm in my 30's. I have breast cancer. Typing the words even seems strange to me. Hearing Kevan say, "my wife has cancer." makes me think he is talking about someone else. But, he isn't. He's talking about me. One of the worries when I found out was that someone might be hurt because I forgot to tell them before it came out on Facebook. If you are one of those people please forgive me. It wasn't on purpose. I have a lot in my head right now. This blog will now serve as the tool to let everyone know how I am doing. Kevan is going to update it when I can't or when I don't feel like it and he is also going to do a few posts so he can journal a bit on how he feels as well so that if someone else goes through this in the future there is a "husband" perspective.
I do not know the extent of the cancer yet. So, until I do I will give everyone a little background on the last few months. In October I felt a lump in my breast while I was taking a bath. Of course, it freaked me out a little, but it was so tiny I had a hard time finding it each time. I made an appointment with my gynecologist and then beat myself up about why I was even going when I couldn't even find the lump half the time I looked for it. I went to my appointment (10/28) and she told me that she couldn't feel it, but that she would request an ultrasound just to ease my worry. I had the ultrasound on 11/1 and the results came back that it was "fatty tissue" and that it was benign. Nothing to worry about.
Below is a picture of my ultrasound. I always requests any films or test results for my own personal archive. I like to see/read what they receive. When I Google "breast cancer" my lump doesn't look anything like what Google images showed me as malignant lumps. So, I thought that was great.
I still didn't feel right about it still so she ordered a mammogram on 11/17. I had the mammogram and it didn't show anything abnormal. It was my very first mammogram. It will be fine with me if I NEVER have one again. lol! It was not fun. If you are a man....thank God right now that you don't have to have mammograms. ;o)
By January, I knew that the lump had increased in size. I could find the lump easily and it also "tingled" so it wasn't hard to locate. In my mind I associated the "tingle" with it growing...so it freaked me out. Of course, I don't know if that is true. If I pressed on it, it hurt. Everyone (and Google) told me that cancer doesn't hurt so that is a great sign. I felt like I was making a big deal out of nothing so I waited until I felt like it had doubled in size before I called the doctor. I had another ultrasound on 2/23 and it revealed again that there was nothing to worry about. Even though the images showed a larger mass of 2.41cm the radiologist noted in her comments that it "had not changed since the last ultrasound".
All is well, right? No. I wasn't happy. I wanted this "thing" out of my body. Kevan wanted it out too just so I would quit making him feel it and so I would stop talking about it. lol! I waited another month while I tried to decide if I was crazy and should let it go or if I really should have it removed. I spoke with my mother-in-law and she recommended I talk to her surgeon. She has survived cancer twice and is an inspiration to me. I love my mother-in-law! She is such a blessing to me. I saw the surgeon on 3/29. He is one of the top oncological surgeons in Tennessee. My mother-in-law went with me because Kevan wasn't able to due to his work schedule. The doctor did his own ultrasound and confirmed it was "fatty tissue" (or lipoma) and said he was 99% sure it was benign. Nothing to worry about. But, he did want to remove it and do a biopsy. I had my lumpectomy/biopsy on 4/3. 2 days after my 36th birthday. Kevan and I went back on 4/6 for my follow-up. On the way there Kevan asked me if I was worried. I told him I wasn't worried AT ALL. Everyone that saw the ultrasound told me it was nothing to be concerned about. I believed them. Kevan told me later that day that he WAS worried. He said he just didn't feel right about it.
As soon as the doctor walked into the room I knew something was wrong. He had tears in his eyes. This actually meant a lot to me. He does this every day. He has to tell women (and sometimes men) that they have breast cancer and he isn't immune to it. It still makes him sad to have to reveal the news. He said that he couldn't believe it when he read the biopsy results. He called the lab to make sure it wasn't a mistake and even met with some other medical professionals to go over the findings. He said it was a very "unique" case. Yes, well....God made me very unique. lol!
The doctor wasn't in a hurry. He sat down and answered all of our questions and even gave me his cell number in case I forgot to ask something or I wanted to talk to him. What doctor would give his patient his cell number??
We are waiting on several tests to find out what type of cancer, what stage, etc. I will update this blog as I find out. I know with all of my heart that God is with me. I'm not alone in this. He is my comforter and my healer. I am not sorry this is happening. God has given me this as a plan for my life. He orchestrates all things, including cancer. If I believed that God was not in this I wouldn't have the strength to get through it. But, I know He is here with me. He is the Creator of ALL THINGS. I love Him.
I also know that I have the best husband. He has been so supportive. He stops to give me hugs and tell me he is sorry. He helped me take a bath and wash my hair last week when I had the lumpectomy and couldn't get my incision wet or raise my arm. I love him so much and he is such a blessing to me. I wouldn't want to go through this without him. I love you Kev. You are my best friend.
I have an awesome family and in-laws who I know will also be supporting me through this. It seems that they are taking it harder than I am, but that is probably normal...I don't know. I also have TWO wonderful church families who have loved on me the last few days. I've had several friends ask me what they can do. Right now, instead of telling me you are sorry just tell me that you will pray for me. Don't just say it, but DO IT. Even if you only remember to pray once. Pray at the time you tell me you will pray. If you put it off you might forget. Also, if you are a friend that jokes with me and laughs with me (or even pokes fun at me) please don't stop. That is why I love you. I know that cancer is serious, but please don't look at me and pity me. Just continue to laugh with me and make me smile. I will need lots of laughter.
My prayer right now is that the cancer has not spread. Please pray that I do not have lymph node involvement and that it is no where else except the breast. Also, I will be having surgery in 3-4 weeks. Most likely it will be a double mastectomy, but Kevan and I are thinking about my options still and will be meeting with the plastic surgeon next week to discuss everything. So, please pray that we make the right decision regarding my surgery and treatment. It is a huge decision and a little scary. I HATE going under anesthesia. Ugh! Not again.
Lastly, I am so thankful that God chose Good Friday to reveal this to me. It is a reminder of how much He loves me! He died for me and suffered for me so that I may have eternal life with Him. He has forgiven me for my sins and through his blood I am restored. Praise God!