Ann McClellan

First post: 5/10/2017 Latest post: 11/15/2017
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting! So many of you have reached out with love, prayers, and hope.  We are so grateful.......more than our words can ever express.  I humbly share my story with you.  Thank you for sharing in it.


In early April 2017 I had a mammogram which showed a questionable spot. This led to a biopsy, which led to surgery to remove a mass, which is leading to a mastectomy one month after the mammogram.  WHEW!  It's been quite a month!  Dr. Sharon, my breast surgeon, states that this cancer is like a golden retriever. It's a nice manageable cancer which can be dealt with and controlled.  It's not a cancer like a pit bull which may be aggressive and mean.  So, I have a nice cancer!?!?!  Dr. Sharon says that the cancer is stage 1A, which is early in its development.  This is EXCELLENT NEWS!!!!!  Several invasive cancers were found by the pathology department from the removed mass from my first surgery.  Thus, the mastectomy will happen Thursday, May 11.   


This is a result of early detection at its best!  Since I was 35 years old, I have had my yearly mammogram.  Most women begin at age 40, but my sister Beth and I started our mammograms at 35 because we are high risk.  Our maternal grandmother died of breast cancer, as did two of her sisters.  Our mother chose to have a radical mastectomy in the 1970s as a preventable means of warding off breast cancer.  It worked because Mom is 85 years old now!  For several years, I often had to go back at the 6 month mark for a follow up mammogram and ultrasound.  The doctors have stayed on top of this potential issue of breast cancer.  I am so glad and thankful that I live in a time of modern medicine and 21st century technology  which can help us to be proactive about our health! 


The interesting thing about my breast cancer story is that our life is usually blissfully boring.  This is actually a good thing because we just go along living life, minding our own business.  Then, shazzam.....our life is no longer blissfully boring!?!?!  Our sons, Andrew and Ben, graduate from high school and college this month!  This is cause for great family celebration!  We wondered if we could just put cancer "on hold" for a couple of months, but it seems that it is not meant to be.  We are so proud of both boys and will be joyfully cheering them on as they receive their diplomas!  


Having lived in Colorado Springs for over 12 years, I am feeling very confident in the care that I am receiving.  Thus far, all the medical staff who have cared for me during this whirlwind ordeal have done so with the utmost respect and compassion.  I am blessed.   Having so many good friends and precious family members, we know and feel your love and support.  We attempt to receive this love and support with grace and thanksgiving. We are blessed. 


 My husband Khan and I are both United Methodist ministers.  We are both currently serving outside the local church.  I am serving at Family Promise, a fantastic interfaith organization which helps out families who are in homeless situations.  Khan is serving at an amazing elder care agency called Sages Elder Care.  Through many decades of ministry, we have nurtured, cared for, supported, prayed for, prayed with, provided hope, laughed with, cried with, and just generally loved many many people in our churches, neighborhoods, family, and friends.  It is now our turn to receive your love and support.   Through the Grace of God we humbly offer thanks for having you in our lives.  Gratitude abounds!


Let's hope for a successful surgery on Thursday!  Let's hope for the medical team to be able to do their job completely during my mastectomy!  Let's hope for pain management and quiet days of healing!  Let's hope for no infection and much strength!  Let's hope for many hugs and tears of joy!  Let's hope for lots of healing through our furry family members: purring snuggling cats and wagging happy tails on our dogs!  


Thank you for your prayers.  It's good to have prayers with many messages...... of empathy, anger, hope, support, rage, love, compassion, gentleness, kindness, healing, frustration, strength, courage, exhaustion, thanksgiving, peace, and much more.  These are all appropriate and necessary prayers.  Thank you for sharing in them with us.     
     

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