I was recently diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer that feeds on estrogen and progesterone. I had found a dime size lump a few years ago, but it had shrunk to a pea size so the breast center said it was hormonal and that bad things don’t get smaller. I was told that because it was hormonal, it would also get larger during my pregnancy and breastfeeding. It did and I didn’t worry because I figured it would get smaller again after I was done breastfeeding. However, after 8 months of breastfeeding, the almost one inch size did surprise me so I mentioned it to the doctor and he said I better have it checked out. That was not the answer I was expecting, but I still thought, he was probably just being precautions. Then the phone call. I did in fact have cancer.
I met with the surgeon and a team of doctors at Saint Mary’s Hospital and they set up a game plan for how to get rid of the cancer. All of the doctors and nurses I have met (there have been A LOT) these past couple of weeks are so incredibly nice. My primary care doctor, Dr. VanWienen, even called to see how I was doing.
Honestly, from the very beginning I have had a calm or a peace about the whole situation. I am not afraid or worried. My first reaction was to just simply praise the Lord because He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Jesus Christ has been so faithful to me and I know he will continue to be my healer. Jesus told Peter in Matthew 14 to come to him and walk on the water and I am doing my best to keep my eyes on Him and not focus on the waves. Of course, it is reassuring that Jesus picked Peter up when he began to doubt. I am pretty sure I will have a few bad days ahead, so it is good to know that God is merciful and loving. The other Bible story that has come to mind these last couple of days is Acts 16 when Paul and Silas were praising God in prison and God broke their chains, but they didn’t escape and the prison guards were surprised and then came to know Jesus. I feel like my life is turning a bit upside down right now and I am praying I will get to meet someone along the road to healing who will come to meet Christ as their personal Lord and Savior as well.
“But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Matthew 14:27
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25
The game plan:
- 2 months of chemo one time every other week (Starting April 25)
- 3 months of chemo (a different kind) once per week
- Surgery (hopefully, a lumpectomy)
- 6 weeks of radiation once per day
- Reconstructive Surgery
Of course, I will do my part to try and be as healthy as possible
I met with a genetics counselor and based on my family history, I have about a 1% chance of this cancer being genetic. However, because it is so rare to see breast cancer in a 29 year old they still want to do the testing just in case.
The one thing that made me cry was when they told me that after the main treatment I will have to take a pill to suppress my hormones for 5 years basically putting me into menopause temporarily. I had really wanted to have another child in a year or two. The Dr. saw my tears and told me that some women can go off of the pill at 3 years, have a child and go back on the pill for the remaining 2 years. They are also giving me Lupron shots to shut down my ovaries so that they will hopefully be protected during the chemotherapy. I am so grateful that they are keeping this a priority and helping me the best they can. The oncologist said he had two woman have children after their treatments so I plan to be the 3rd!