Saturday, August 18, 2012

How about some humble pie?

So I'm not going to lie, Round 2 has been hard.  I've been sick and cranky and tired, and in all honestly due to a lack of hormones in my body, I have been down right crazy!  And with those mood swings has come a sense of entitlement.  And when you let the devil "in" just a little it's amazing how fast he goes to work.  The saying, "Give him an inch and he'll take a mile," is a ridiculous understatement when we are referring to the enemy.  He doesn't come to mess with you a little, people; HE COME TO KILL, STEAL, AND DESTROY.  And boy he has been working hard these last three weeks at killing my joy, stealing my strength, and trying to destroy my testimony.  But I am so thankful for my pastor, who is led by the Holy Spirit to give me the TRUTH that is found in The Word of God.  Do you think it was a coincidence that our verse for the month of August is Romans 8:37 

Yeah it's not!  God knew I needed that so He gave it to my shepherd to give to me.  And He keeps giving it to me.....over and over.  He texts it out to me .... He comments on my fb posts.  When I am trying my hardest to tune out the Holy Spirit and throw myself a pitty party, my Shepherd is there watching out for my soul and I couldn't be more grateful for him and his amazing wife. 

#ADD of topic thought for this post--- I just encourage you to make sure that when you are sitting in a church that you are listening for the voice of your shepherd.  We don't need a church, we need a shepherd! Get into John 10:1-10.,   You don't need a church you need a Shepherd aka pastor!  Ok back to what I was talking about now....sorry I "squirreld" as I call it (watch Disney Pixar's movie "Up" and you will get it!)

So I've had my pastor building me up, but while he broke in and my attitude kinda started to change.....I was still holding on a little bit.  Then God said, "Ok time to come down to her to bring her back up to me."  I was contacted by a man that I knew when was little bitty......he was asking for help buying a home.  My aunt had told me that he had been battling cancer for a while, but was doing better.  As I started talking to him and he told me about a mass he had that was removed in July.  The good news is he is now cancer free.  The bad news is that the mass was removed from an area that allows him to not be able to sit down.  And the area where his mass was removed has to remain open to heal, and then they will do skin graphs to close it up.  So he literally has to lay down on his stomach ALL the time.  Yeah so what was I complaining about again?  He went on to tell me that I was very inspiring and I was taken back by his comments.

So Today I came into the infusion room for round 3 ready to rock it!  I was still a little grumpy, but was armed with a list of questions for my PA.  I was ready to stage a sit in in her office until she restored my sanity and my husband was all for it lol.  But of course she couldn't do that.  She answered my questions to the best of her ability and more or less said, "That's just how it is."  We had a little bit of a plan with some changes in medications which made me feel a little better, but I was still a little grumpy.

I sat down hoping to have someone next to me to chat with this time.  (The last 2 times the people next to me were much older and napped the whole time.)  A friendly guy sat down and was told his port wasn't working  so he would have to wait for chemo so he left.  Then a woman sat down next to me.  I'd seen her at least 3 times before in the waiting room and I knew she had breast cancer too since she wore a pink ribbon hat.  I automatically felt drawn to her the first time I saw her, but she always had friends with her.  I wondered if she was divorced since I never saw her husband with her.  But this time she was alone, so of course I seized the opportunity (those who know me, know I never turn down the chance to make a new friend!  Or at least have a conversation!)  Her name was Robbie-Sue and as she told me her story I was truly humbled.  She is stage 4 and has been battling this disease for a while now.  In the midst of her battle, she lost the love of her life, her husband, to liver cancer (could be wrong on that as my memory is horrible right now), but one thing I know......she loved that man with all her heart.  She has no family here, but a great support system in her neighborhood, but it's not the same as the man you love taking care of you.  Not to mention that when she was in the midst of her battle, she had to take care of him.  And still she has will to fight.  I looked over at my husband and he was choking back tears as was I.  I have it so easy compared to others!  One of my favorite sayings is, "It's impossible to be unhappy and grateful at the same time!"  I walked out of there truly blessed by her!  It's amazing how God can use anyone or anything to get our attention as long as we are open to receive it.  And sometimes he has to knock me over the head with it! :)  But thank God that his grace is sufficient! This is a great quote too, and so true no matter what you are facing!

She was a smart woman.  So what is your disposition today?  Are you choosing to be grateful for what you have?  Or unhappy because of what you don't?   It goes back to Choosing Life!  Round 3 or chemo all done and I left with a smile on my face, grateful for what I have!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Once upon a time there was a lump.......

So I've had a few people ask how this all started for me.... How did you know? Did you find a lump? What did it feel like? So I figured instead of telling the story over and over again I would just blog about it.....duh.

One day in early March I got out of the shower like every other day ready to take on the world, and I went through my normal routine, which includes slathering my body in as much lotion as possible ( I was blessed with dry skin).  I just happened to take my hands and wipe from under my arms across both breasts horizontally.  "Wait a minute, what was that?" I thought.  And brought my hand back over my right breast and pressed down from the front.....and nothing.  So I went at it the same way as before and there is was again.  It felt hard.....hard as a rock.  It was very close to my chest wall.  Words like Lumpectomy, BRAC testing, Mastectomy, CANCER......started flooding my mind.  I was familiar with all these as my Mom was just finishing up her reconstruction (she took her time).  She was diagnosed in April of 2010.  I shook all of that information right out of my head as fast as I could.  There's no way that's right......I mean come on.....I'm 28 years old for pete's sake(whoever Pete is......I've always wondered that...sorry ADD moment).  Then I remembered my mom saying things like she had really dense breasts.  That had to be what it was.  I called my husband in just to make sure he felt the same thing.......I put his hand on the right spot and he yanked his hand back like something bit him (he has a bit of a flare for the dramatic, but don't tell him I said that ;).  His response was, "Whoa that's so weird.  What do you think it is?"  I could see the worry all over his face.  I told him I wasn't sure, but I should probably go have it looked at.

In a perfect world I would have been in the doctor's office the next day, but when I took a new job in November of 2011, the company had decided to not offer health benefits (I'm a commissioned employee), but I took the job because I was paying so much money in gas driving to Dallas before that driving to this job would save me enough money to buy an individual policy.  Which yes the thought process made sense, but one of my weaknesses is that I'm more of a thinker than a doer.  But God was working and a new manager had started in February.  She demanded that our owners offer heath insurance and low and behold they agreed!  But the insurance wasn't supposed to be effective until April 1, 2012.  So we decided the best plan of action was to wait, just in case, on the off chance, it was something big.  At the end of March m manager told me that the insurance wouldn't be effective until May 1, 2012.  I don't really remember the reason why, but it didn't really matter.  God used that time to strengthen me to handle what was coming.

I remember on Easter Sunday we were at my Aunt's house.  All of a sudden I had a pain in the breast with the lump.  It was a dull the kind I used to get when I was in those lovely adolescent years when things were "blooming." I remember mentioning it to my Aunt and she said something to the effect of, "It's usually never as bad as we are thinking it is."  I knew she was referring to cancer for some reason.....maybe she wasn't I don't really know, but that's what I was thinking.  I remember thinking, "Yeah I'm thinking I'm not going to mention this lump."  I didn't want to worry anyone when it was probably just something silly.

So May 1st rolls around and I was in my doctor's office on May 2nd just to have her take a to speak.  Her face said it all.  I love my doctor.....she is seriously one of the sweetest women I have ever met. She said exactly what I thought she would say, "Let's not worry until there's something to worry about."  But she sent me off to get a diagnostic mammogram and sonogram, "just in case."  But I knew she was worried.

It was a full week before they could get me into the radiologist office.  It was a long week.  During that week I found a 2nd lump in the same breast.  My doctor did a thorough exam and didn't feel it just days ago.  My husband was out of town when I went.  I knew they weren't going to do a biopsy right then ( since I'd walked this road before with my mom) so I told him he was fine.  I remember going in there and the ladies being so nice and commenting on how young I was (which is now a constant comment I get all the time) and how they get young girls in here all the time and it's just a fibroid and nothing to worry about.  But the mammogram tech's face changed as she started to look at the scans.  I heard God telling me,"I've prepared you for this.  Remember you are not what's on that scan, you are Mine."  She was quiet and led me over to the sonogram room where the tech was also very chatty and sweet, until she started taking pictures.....then it got very quiet.    I remember thinking, "Yeah that's not good."  Again God reminded me that I was ready for this.  She told me to hold on a second and brought the Radiologist in, who was finally straight with me, which I really appreciated.  She told me with me being so young and there being a history of breast cancer she wanted to get me into the Fort Worth office for a biopsy the very next morning. My thought was, "Yeah that's really not good, but I know I'm prepared for this God."  I turned to her and point blank asked her, "Do you think this is cancer?"  Her response was, "To be brutally honest with you, I'd be shocked if it was not cancer."  I told her if it was I just wanted to do the double mastectomy and be done with it.  (I watched my mom go through 2 lumpectomies before she just had the mastectomy done.  I didn't want to go through that. The radiologist told me with that attitude I would be just fine.  I went out to the car and tried to call my husband.  He was on a plane and didn't pick up.  I left a message and sat there not really sure who to call next.  No tears were shed and I didn't feel upset.  God was right.....I was prepared for this.  He made me to overcome.  My sweet husband was not prepared.  He was very quiet when I told him what she had said and had to sit on a plane and think about it, as he called me back from his layover.  

We went in for the biopsy which ended up taking less time that I thought it would, but was very painful.  The radiologist sat down with us and repeated everything she had told me to my husband and his tears begin to flow which of course made me a little teary eyed.  I think the only other times I'd ever seen him so frantic was when something that would require an ER visit would happen to the kids.  But this was a different kind a frantic.  After we left he backed my car into a telephone pole. After I checked to make sure there was no damage it was pretty funny.  We had to wait over the weekend for the results.  We did a lot of praying that weekend.  And God answered those prayers..... just not in the way we wanted Him to...... and the rest is an unfolding story....

You are never too young to start giving yourself breast exams.  I should have been.  Now reading should be too!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

So honored!

Just wanted to say I am super honored to be on Ashley's blog today!  Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.....working on a new post tonight :-)