Friday, January 17, 2014
Faith, Encouragement and Blessings do come from Breast Cancer!
I started out this post with 3 events in 2013 that changed my life forever but while writing it I had so much to say about this one topic I decided to write the whole post about it. Hope that's ok with you all. I think it's a tad therapeutic for me as well. This will probably be long with no pics..so hang around.. here is goes! I will try to keep my sarcasm at bay…no promises!
Since I have hit the 40+ mark…ahem…I was due for my yearly mammogram check up. You can kind of tell where this story is going..right? As I got the call that there was something suspicious on my mammogram they needed me in for an ultra sound…which led to a biopsy on August 26th.."Yep Mrs. Arent this is not good" they told me. I sank in my chair but held it together quite nicely if I do say so myself..until I got to my car in the parking lot. A flood came over me! I kept thinking to myself..God brought me to this..he will get me through this.
A big mistake I made (since I'm SO tough) I went to that appointment by myself. Note to self…don't ever EVER go to "that kind" of appointment by yourself. I was diagnosed with DCIS breast cancer. Very early stages and fortunately for me…a very slow growing kind. Thank goodness for early detection! Now, we needed to decide what to do about it…Mayo Clinic in Minnesota here we come! I can not believe how fast they got me in the schedule. I had 2 very full and exhausting days of tests, blood work, about 20 more mammograms and 2 more biopsies that had me laying face down and the girls hanging so the docs could work under the table..bizarre I tell ya... an MRI that lasted forever and a day. I sure did feel like a pin cushion when we left there.
I came home for a few weeks and let the news settle in and go about my daily routines. Which did include going to my MMSMP training in Ellicott City, MD. Now that I think about that trip with Allison from The Golden Sycamore, she got to hear all about my issues…for over 8 hours! Sorry and Thank you Allison for listening.
We flew back to Mayo a few weeks later for more meetings with my surgeon and Plastics. After all our research and talking with other women that have had this same kind of cancer I was under the impression that a Lumpectomy was in order. But after that first meeting with plastics they really said what is best for me is a Mastectomy so the chances of reoccurrence were nearly nil. Oh boy…was not expecting that at all. I had not done my research and had no knowledge on this. I put my trust in these Doctors to know what was best for my situation and they offered up surgery the next morning…Yes, the next morning!! That was a lot to take in for little ole me…for anyone! In case ya didn't know…I'm a "put your big girl panties on" kinda girl…and I did just that. It's called Big Girl Panties and my FAITH. I had so much Faith that God was in charge that it could of been Donald Duck that gave me the news. I didn't even hesitate…Yes, let's do it.
The Hubs (awesome Hubs to be exact) and I went back to our hotel, had a super awesome dinner and a couple glasses of wine (per my doc) and I cried a bit..actually the Hubs would probably say "historically" cried but oh well..I can cry if I want, right?? Woke up at 5am and headed to the hospital and got er done! Have I told you how Amazing they were at the Mayo Clinic..I can not say enough…AMAZING! I really hope they know how awesome they are. I'm sending them my Awesome vibes..right now!!! (insert vibe noise)
I am so blessed beyond what I could of ever expected. I do not have to take tomoxifin (way too many side effects- I don't really need glaucoma or a rotten liver) that is usually prescribed for 5 years after a Mastectomy and I don't have to do any radiation or chemo. Thank the Lord! They began reconstruction at the same time as the mastectomy and since being home and the swelling has gone down and the drain tubes are out I am on my way to recovery…just in time to have my final surgery in February but the Dr.'s tell me this should not be near the difficulty that the actually Mastectomy was. Again, my faith continues to get me through all the adjustments that are involved with such a procedure. But you know, the hardest thing about the whole ordeal was, telling my 3 children. I was afraid they would hear the word "cancer" and immediately think, "their momma is going to die." We gave them the grown up version with all the facts…even to my 11 year old. They were better equipped to handle it when they knew everything. And as we suspected…they were good with it.
During this whole ordeal I never once asked God "why me?" or even got angry. Honestly, again..it's my Faith! I was raised with Faith and respect for the Lord so this is not new to me just because I needed His help. So many, many Good things have come out of this and I choose to count them as BLESSINGS. Even though I have always lived my life with Faith, it is now stronger than ever! Also, this was nothing to hide or keep a secret so I told every one of my girlfriends and family that I could think of that may benefit from "Breast Cancer" awareness month in October. I have gotten 2 of my dear friends to get mammogram's that have never gotten one before..Kimmy-Steph you know who you are! Another big blessing…my younger and only sister and I have never really had a great relationship to speak of…she is now someone I can count on and truly call my sister. She really has helped encourage me and continues to remind me what a fighter I am. Thanks Sis! Oh, another blessing…I guess it's a blessing…the Doc tells me after all said and done I can have the "other girl" repaired to match the one that tried to kill me..and all covered under insurance! Wahooo…wonder if they can do my stomach and butt too? That would probably be pushing it! I'm kidding of course…only about the stomach and butt tho! Now I'm rambling!
So here it is..the last few months of my life have been wildly eye opening to say the least. I'm making a few changes that will allow me to enjoy my life and all the blessings that God has given me and not sweat the small stuff. Which is super hard to do for a Doer! :) You may not see the changes but I will see them and feel them in my heart.
Besides the people I have mentioned in this post I would like to Thank Lisa, Gail Lyn, Amy and Jen who always checked on me and brought me food. My momma, of course for coming over and helping me with the house, bringing me food and just Loving me! And a whole slew of people that brought food, flowers and wine (lynanne) Brenda who yanked out my drain tubes at my kitchen counter per my request…yep..beside tough, I'm very impatient too!
My hubs…my awesome hubs…my Clark Griswald who drug me through the long halls at the Mayo Clinic with his rolling suitcase full of xrays, papers and gummie bears! And took ALL the notes, asked ALL the questions while I just sat there staring at the wall. I love you more than I ever tell you!
I have decided to share this here on my blog so that it may encourage you or someone you know that might think they are alone! You are NEVER alone if you have God on your side!