I Have Cancer

When they called me back for extra mammogram pictures, I was not too concerned. Happens all the time, they said.

But as soon as the radiologist saw the new pictures, he asked me to stay for an ultrasound. After seeing the ultrasound, he asked me to stay for a biopsy. He did not say the “c” word, but made it clear that what he saw was very “worrisome.”

The doctor who did my biopsy gave the ultrasound tech a very meaningful glare. The order quickly changed from a biopsy on one mass to two masses. It was a Friday afternoon. Nothing would happen over the weekend, but I should have results by Wednesday.

I had been planning to go do our weekly grocery shopping after the mammogram. I had been at the hospital for two hours. I was tired and bandaged. Grocery-less, I drove home. I could feel the local anesthetic wearing off.

Worse, I dreaded adding to the burdens on my family. 2020 has been hard enough.

Just as I had dreaded, silence and shock on their precious faces. But we had assignments to get turned in and dinner to put on the table, so we worked.

Later that night, as I sat in bed trying to read a book, my daughter came in. In slow, halting, shy sentences, she let her dad and I know that she wanted to get past her hesitation and come to Jesus. Her main reason: “If anything happens to you, I want you to go knowing that I am saved.”

And in that moment, I thanked God. Right here at the outset of this terrible thing, God was working good – eternal good.

On Tuesday I got calls from the biopsy doctor and my general doctor, both with the same news: breast cancer confirmed, 2 small tumors, lymph nodes are clear.

On Wednesday, my husband and I met with the surgeon and my nurse navigator who will help coordinate my treatment. They walked us through a ton of information and possible treatment options. My surgeon is quite optimistic that this cancer can be cured. We have caught it when the tumors are small (less than 2 cm) so it’s stage 1.

On Thursday I got a vial of my blood drawn to send away for BRCA gene testing. It may take two weeks to get the result, but knowing whether these genes are functioning properly or not will help determine how extensive my surgery needs to be.

On Thursday the surgeon also called to let me know that my cancer cells are hormone receptor positive, meaning that hormone therapy could be effective, but also Her2 positive, meaning that some chemo could be necessary. I have a referral to an oncologist.

So I feel like I’m on the rickety old roller coaster headed up that first steep slope in a painfully slow, nerve racking way. I know the ups and downs of surgery and cancer treatment are coming soon, scary and jarring, throwing us this way and that.

But I also know that the God who put me on this ride is good. He gave me the beautiful gift of my daughter’s salvation right at the beginning of this. Even if that is the only good that comes out of all this, it is worth it.

I know that I’m going to hate surgery and every other treatment that I have to endure. I know that I will pray and wish to get off this ride.

Friends, I will need your prayers, your words of encouragement, and all those encouraging Bible verses you send. For those of you that live close, I will need your help.

I will try to keep you updated and let you know when I have a surgery date so you can be praying.

Pray that the Great Physician may grant me healing. Pray that no matter what the future holds, I will hold fast to God and cling to Christ. Pray that my children’s fledgling faith will be strengthened and not stumble. Pray for grace and peace for my husband who will have so many additional burdens to bear.

Cancer is a part of living in a broken world. Genes have mutations. Bodies fail. Malignant growths grow and multiply.

God has allowed this. He knows it is scary and painful.

God knows the numbers of hairs on my head. Even if that number begins to decrease rapidly, God will be with me through each treatment.

Ultimately, whatever may happen to my body, my soul is secure. My daughter’s soul is secure. God is my oasis. I will rest and take refreshment in Him. I hope in the God whose heavenly kingdom is cancer free and open to all who believe.

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