November 18, 2017

A Day I Will Never Forget…

11188214_10205361246703277_213929887643240912_n(4)My journey began February 5, 2015. I was scheduled to have my first ever mammogram. It ended up being a few hours visit which entailed three sessions of mammograms and then an ultra sound. I was pretty much told there was concern, and it was a 50/50 outcome. So, I was scheduled for a biopsy the following week, February 12. After having the biopsy, I went in to work the next day and figured I wouldn’t hear anything over the weekend.

The work day went by without any problems. February 13, 2015, I received a call from my primary care physician telling me that my biopsy tested positive for cancer. As I answered the phone, knowing it was her, I thought to myself, “I’m alright.” However, at the same time, there was a feeling that made me wrench a little, knowing that wasn’t the truth. She began giving me instructions and phone numbers for my next steps. I continued to remain calm and wrote down everything she said. Since I was at work, my next step was to finish gathering my things, deliver paperwork to my boss, while being composed after such news; knowing I had to call my husband. He took it worse than I did in the beginning. And then I broke down.

We decided that we would not tell the kids anything on the way home. I wanted to wait until after dinner. We sat on the couch and called our three teenagers over to sit. I wanted my husband to break the news, but we would make sure we also told the kids what our next steps were, not only to soften the blow, but so that they would know there was a plan and no matter what, we would get through it. We cried, and ended our discussion in prayer.

As the weeks went on, I met my breast care surgeon, my plastic surgeon, my oncologist, and my cardiovascular doctor. This all became more real with each step, but still u believable and certainly not real. This couldn’t be mine, my life. I was not ready to own this, and neither was my husband. That would have to come later. My diagnosis was Infiltrated Ductal Carcinoma Stage 2a, 3.2cm in length.

I wasn’t sure what to do. I was absolutely against doing chemo, but we had already met with two oncologist and felt like I needed to get started right away and not let this cancer grow or spread.

I had surgery on March 10, a port placed in my chest on April 7, and began chemo on the 14th. By the end of April, my husband shaved my head; it all began to fall out in clumps every time I would touch or comb it.

This seemed like it would never end. However, I completed my chemo through the rest of the summer. It all seems like it went faster than we thought it would, but it was certainly not an easy journey. I was given four treatments of adriamycin, taxotere, and cytoxan (ACT)  – once every two weeks. Then six treatments of Herceptin, Carboplatin, and Taxotere (TCH) – once every three weeks. There were days of fevers, headaches,staying in bed for a few days. I generally felt off for the whole week of chemo. I guess in general, compared to most other cancer patients, I did well health wise. It was still the worst thing I’d ever experienced, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. On my two weeks off, I would get as much done around the house as possible. Then I would realize I probably did too much.

By the end of September, I found a new oncologist. I actually had one treatment of TCH that I was supposed to complete. My husband and I were not comfortable with the previous doctor, and although I had been with her through the gist of chemo, we still knew I had a ways to go, and finding a doctor we trusted and were more comfortable with was important. My new doctor agreed that I should not have done the first part of my treatment that was prescribed by my previous doctor. I didn’t have to take the last treatment. However, he reassured me that my treatments to come he was certain of. As of now, I have ten more herceptin treatments once every three weeks, I take a hormone blocker pill called Aromasin daily, and an injection once every three months called Lupron. Eventually, I will have a CT scan and a bone scan done. I just completed my reconstruction surgery and had my port removed.

The surgery marks a big finish for me even though I am not done. Through all of this, I have done lots of holistic research. I had begun using supplements and detoxing during chemo. I will share more on detox, essential oils, and supplements. I never felt like I had the time to do any research before. If I had known what I know now, I would have walked out on my chemo. As I am currently doing more research, specifically for her2 positive breast cancer, I may not finish the treatments I am on now. I think it’s time to rebuild, instead of tearing down…

More to come…

Trusting God

The God Who Created All Things

Psalm 23

A psalm of David.

1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

2     He makes me lie down in green pastures,

3     He refreshes my soul, He leads me beside quiet waters,

He guides me along the right paths

for His name’s sake,

through the darkest valley, 4 Even though I walk

I will fear no evil,  for You are with me;

Your rod and Your staff,

they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me

in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil;

    my cup overflows.

6 Surely Your goodness and love will follow me

        all the days of my life,

       and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

       forever.

Letting God

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What is it that you want changed? To be a better person, to be happy, fulfilled, and maybe even a person of strong character? Those sound like qualities anyone would want. But when you ask God to change your heart, are those the things that what He will change? A lesson some want to learn, yet fear the change that may come about.

If you want to save your life, you will destroy it. But if you give up your life to me , you will find it.

Matthew 16:26

We can consume ourselves with trying to make our lives the way we think they should be or the way others think they should be. All in all, what we are trying to do is control our circumstances and others into what we think we want in life. We believe that our choices in life are going to get us to our insurmountable joy! After all, who else is going to do it for us? Aren’t we responsible for our being?

We could never imagine the damage we could be causing along the way; by making sure we keep everything under “control.”

But if I give not “everything,” but all of my self, my life, over to Him who knows all things, created all things, and desires for me to prosper in all things; what then shall I have to lose? His word says, I will find my life. Life is full and living and fruitful. It is a life dependent on not all the things I “keep under control,” but a life I’m willing to lay down. A life I’m willing to allow Christ to dwell in. And in changing my heart, he is helping me to become more like Him – Knowing it’s not about me – Knowing I’m not in control of all things – Allowing him to orchestrate my life and it’s circumstances; making my life full and flourishing. I can be busy loving all and forgiving all. He will be busy blessing those who come to Him, and I can surely say “change my heart, O God,” and mean it with all my heart.

He Is For Me

…the substance of things hoped for that you cannot see…

Our lessons of faith begin in our childhood. It is very simple to believe anything our parents say or exemplify because we are so gullible as children. Unfortunately, our childlike faith becomes scarred; sometimes accidentally and others purposefully. Consequently, those early lessons of faith mold our belief system.

We learn rather or not we can trust or depend upon others based on the examples set before us. If our mother or father did not set good examples of those characteristics, then our belief is not only to not trust anyone, but to do it ourselves as well. Secondly, because we are human, it is only natural to trust and believe in tangible things. Similarly, although I am unable to see God, I choose to trust that He is the creator of the universe based on the nature of evidence around me. Who else could create such natural beauty?

So, if we believe that God is the creator of all things, why is it so hard for us to trust Him in all things? Is it simply because He is not tangible? Possibly for some. The bigger issue is that it is not our instinct to trust Him no matter what because that trust has been damaged from the beginning. The damage can be from a multitude of things. For instance,  if my biological father wasn’t there, why would God? If so-and-so did this to me, why would God care? If I did all these sinful things, why would God give me grace and mercy? And so on.

What I’ve learned is that the only way for me to trust is to change my beliefs. Yes, I believe in God. But in order for me to trust Him in every way of life, I have to believe that every attribute of Him is true. His Word says that He loves me, will provide for me, will give me wisdom, will comfort me, will bring healing, will redeem me, will give me peace, will befriend me, will forgive me, will be a father to me, will strengthen me, and so much more. The bottom line is that HE IS FOR ME!

…I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.

Hebrews 13:5

That is what I must constantly engrave upon my heart; no matter what circumstances come my way and no matter how often they come. He never promised our lives would be easy, but He did promise that if we call upon Him, He will answer. He will give wisdom and direction in His Word if we seek Him.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Romans 8:28

More importantly, my desire is to remain in Him by changing my beliefs of Him.

You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign on. Your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.

Deuteronomy 11:18