today marks mom’s very last radiation appointment, and the end of her road of treatment altogether. hallelujah!! in early august, she’ll have a follow-up appointment with her oncologist to do a PET scan and some other tests to confirm what we already know – she’s in remission.
i can’t tell you how proud of her i am, and how brave i believe she is. i wish each of you were lucky enough to know her, but those of you who do will recognize exactly the kind of spirit i’m talking about. :)
if you’ve breathed any sort of prayer on our behalf since november 6th, thank you. if there ever was a day i doubted the power that lies in interceding for another, i’ll never have to wonder again.
please continue to pray for mom as she gets back into the swing of things, especially as a new school year comes around in august. as you can imagine, adjusting to everything that’s been done to her body over the past seven months has been insane. remember her in prayer while we’re still making our way out of the woods. also pray for our dad, that his body would continue to respond to daily meds, and the cancerous cells in his body would disappear.
each of you are a gift that we treasure. We love you.
lumpectomy? check. unexpected double mastectomy? check. four rounds of chemotherapy? check. six weeks of radiation? in progress.
my mom is thirty days away from being done with this cancer business. she is bald and beautiful, and she is truly is the same as she’s always been – just with a much shorter morning routine now. :)
in mid-march, we discovered dad has prostate cancer. can you say holy crap three times fast? i learned this news while in line for a rollercoaster at disneyland with my sweet friend jordan, who was also non-coincidentally with me when i learned of mom’s cancer last november. He certainly knows who to place in our presence when life happens. i was livid. i was terrified. and i was so forgetful of what God could do. daddy has one of the tiniest tumors one can imagine, and is being treated with daily oral meds for the time being.
just like mama, he’s gonna be fine.
now surely cancer will take a break from our family for awhile, won’t it?
tonight, our family gets to release a small sigh of relief.
early friday morning, my mom underwent a double mastectomy to get the proverbial ball rolling on kicking cancer in it’s you-know-what. she’s so, so brave. when we arrived at the hospital at 6 am, some of our dearest friends surprised us with their calming, comforting presence. they drove two hours to be with us well before dawn, to laugh and reminisce with us in the pre-op room, and pray over mom before her procedure began. that gift to us is so priceless.
the surgery itself was, this time, without surprises! but it would be many long hours before any of us were able to lay eyes on mom, as her blood pressure remained too low for her to be moved from the recovery area until nighttime. in the last three days, mom has had to overcome so much pain and discouragement. it isn’t going to subside for awhile, either, and i hate acknowledging that. watching her hurt is the hardest thing yet. in all of her discomfort and searing pain, i’ve never once heard a complaint or feeling of defeat escape her lips. she is, hands down, my hero. has been, and always will be.
this isn’t the path of treatment we previously anticipated, and it shatters my heart that she has to give up so much in order to beat this disease. but she is beating it, and she will press on through upcoming cycles of chemotherapy and absences from the career she loves. please, don’t forget to pray for us.
to join the facebook group and receive more updates on how to pray for my best friend, click here.
i feel like the hourglass has been turned back over, or the room has been flip-flopped and i’m now walking on the ceiling.
the details and plans of mom’s journey in fighting breast cancer are not going to be quite like we were once told. monday evening, mom’s surgeon called. not knowing who was on the other line, mom pretended not to be herself in case it was another pesky telemarketer or charity spokesperson. funny girl. :)
during last week’s lumpectomy, the surgeon found two other masses that just didn’t look or feel right to her. we weren’t aware of this at the time, but she removed them and shipped them off to pathology. these areas, which weren’t found on any of mom’s previous scans, are also cancerous. this changes the game a little.
in light of this, the surgeon recommends that mom undergo a double mastectomy and chemotherapy afterward. sort of a far cry from what we were told her journey would include. because the type of cancer my mama has is lobular, it is more often found in both breasts than are other types of breast cancer. her surgeon now feels that other “hidden” tumors could be in both breasts, and a double mastectomy provides her best chance at beating it for good.
it’s been two days since the phone rang. i didn’t cry as much today, and i hope that means something good.
please don’t stop praying for my mom in the upcoming month. can you imagine having to relinquish a part of your own body, wondering if you suddenly stop being a woman once it’s gone? i can’t. i try, and it makes me ache to the core.
i’m sort of hesitant to say goodbye to 2009. the next year scares me now. we’re beginning 2010 with a bigger fight than we first envisioned. good thing we’re a tough bunch.
it’s almost christmas, y’all! rumor is that we might even have a white one on our hands here in oklahoma, though i’m not holding my breath too tightly. :)
this afternoon, i’ll be taking my parents up to the big city, where mom will undergo some preliminary tests/procedures for tomorrow’s lumpectomy. the surgery itself is scheduled for10:15 tomorrow morning, and should be a fairly quick event! after the tumor has been removed, the surgeon will also extract tissue surrounding it to be tested for any additional cancerous cells. if any are detected within her sentinel lymph nodes, these and additional tissue areas will also be removed, and she will have to stay overnight at the hospital. if no other cells are discovered, though, she’ll be released just a few hours after recovery! please join us in prayer for a speedy, smooth procedure, and an easy recovery process following the surgery.
we’ll be returning home to the country as soon as she’s up to it, and we can’t wait to celebrate with everyone there in a few days! pray for mama’s strength, so that she can enjoy the holiday and her grandkids as much as possible – and pray that i don’t screw up our christmas dinner to enormously. :D love you guys and your fervent prayin’!
it’s been a little over a month since my sweet mama was diagnosed with breast cancer, which seems so much shorter than it should be. things have moved extremely quickly in terms of compiling her treatment plan, which i can only attribute to my God and my master mammographer of a sister, whose expertise in this field has been such a source of peace for me.
as of the wee hours of this morning, mom has spent the last five weeks going back and forth to dozens of appointments. a breast MRI and PET scan were performed to search for any more “hot spots” in her body where other tumors could be lurking. none could be found. :) the small tumor is located in one area only, which will be removed on december 22nd! mom will then have six consecutive weeks of radiation, beginning at the end of january and concluding in late spring. such therapy will require a daily, two-hour roundtrip commute during that time period, in addition to teaching those crazy fifth graders that she so dearly loves. this will be hard on her – but we am so pleased, elated, thankful, and awestruck that chemotherapy isn’t even deemed necessary for the time being by her oncologist and surgeon. what better news could we have gotten at this stage of the game? sometimes it gives me chills to think of how tenderly we’ve been cared for and how smooth of a road He seems to have paved for her. makes me wanna gush those happy tears that i usually roll my eyes at any other time.
shortly after mom’s diagnosis, one of my sweet girls from the youth ministry i volunteer at on wednesday nights created a facebook group to spread the word and gather the faithful to pray on her behalf. as of the wee hours of this morning, 380 people have committed to pray for my best friend – just through facebook alone. i can’t even begin to count how many more church prayer lists she appears on, or how many other prayer warriors may be interceeding for her even today! i know it’s corny, and i know i sometimes scoff at how frivolously this word is thrown around, but we are so, so blessed. it renders me speechless sometimes. and we all know how hard of an accomplishment that is. :)
so if you’re reading this and have or will speak to our Lord about my mama’s healing, thank you. it works. it is working. and it’s going to be the biggest source of healing for her following this surgery and into the months of treatment following. we love you.
to join the facebook group and receive more updates on how to pray for us, click here.
let all that i am praise the Lord; may i never forget the good things He does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
psalm 103: 2-4
oh hey, blog. my spontaneous absence from this little corner has made me antsy, and with so much going on this semester, i have more to say now than perhaps ever before. but one week ago today, things changed.
i learned my mom has breast cancer.
i swear, it was as if someone had hit me in the chest and taken the breath right out of me.
and then, i came to my senses.
this is no reason to begin doubting His sovereignty. this is no situation over which He is not already in control. and this is certainly no time to forget that He is a God of victory.
the odds are completely in our favor, both literally and figuratively. the cancer is limited to one area, and the fact that my sister is a top-notch mammographer has given us a distinct advantage in understanding which way to go next. :)
this is the beginning of the story: some days, i still get sad. i still want to cry alone in the shower some nights, and i have my moments where i feel alone and helpless. i would love nothing more than to be at all of my mom’s appointments and feel as if i’m making myself useful in her fight. i want to go home. i’m angry that her life is being disrupted and that she faces treatment options that are less than enjoyable.
this is the end of the story: next year, our family will run at race for the cure as we do every fall. this time, we’ll get to watch our mom walk the survivor’s lap.
to keep up with more specific ways you can pray for my sweet mama, click here.