December 29th, 2016 is a date I will remember as long as I live. I received a call, the voice on the other end telling me I had breast cancer. Denial and shock were the first emotions I felt. "How can this be? I am only 32. There is no history of breast cancer in my family. I am 10 weeks pregnant. " I was getting my 2 and 1/2 year old ready for a Doctors appointment when I received the call. I looked at his little face and hands. " Will I get to see these little hands grow bigger than mine? Will I even be here to take him to his first day of Kindergarten? " My mind raced even further into the future. "Will I dance with him at his wedding?" Next, I called my husband to break the news to him over the phone. My husband, the love of my life since we were 17. The husband I had been married to coming up on 8 years. The one I thought I would grow old with. Then I worried about my unborn child. I was totally ignorant to what could even be done for my cancer since I was pregnant. Would I have to wait until after delivery to receive treatment? Would they ask me to terminate the pregnancy? I shuttered at the thought.
I found the lump a few weeks after I got pregnant. I honestly thought it was nothing, your breasts change and become tender pretty much immediately. "Pregnancy boobs," I thought. I am so thankful I did not blow it off. My first appointment with my ob I mentioned it to her and she did a breast exam and gave me an order for an ultrasound. Thank God she did not blow it off either. So the following week I had my ultrasound and ended up having a biopsy that very day. The following day, I received the news it was indeed cancer. Since then I have met with many doctors and have been educated on my options. I love my team and feel comfortable they are going to take care of me and that is exactly where I am supposed to be to receive my treatment. Shout out to Vandy Breast Center!
My Surgery is scheduled for next Tuesday, January 24th. I am going to have a right mastectomy. Reconstruction will follow after the baby is born. The Doctors want me to have as little anesthesia as possible and do as little as possible to decrease my risk of infection which could be harmful to the baby. There is a test being run on my first biopsy to help determine if I will need chemo. I will start hormone therapy after the baby is born. So a plan is in place which has relieved much of my anxiety.
Speaking of an anxiety reliever, all the love and support I have received from people. From family and friends, to old friends I haven't seen in a while, to complete strangers. Women reaching out to me who had been pregnant themselves and diagnosed with cancer, some a few months ago, I stopped feeling so alone. All the phone calls, cards and especially prayers have meant so much. I have never felt so loved in my life. It has meant so much to me and my husband and I hope they continue as I still have a long road ahead. I am not sure why this is happening to me. I realize I am not the first to be diagnosed and won't be the last. I pray this to be a bump in the road. A life lesson to really love while I am here. Be slow to anger and more kind to everyone, because you never know what someone is going through, I especially know that now. And most importantly never ever take a day for granted God has given me with my precious family. After you have a child it changes you forever, I think for the better. You want to be the best person you can be in hopes they will notice and want to grow up to be a good person as well. Over the last year, I have really questioned why I am here. I wanted a purpose in life and to do something meaningful with it. I believe I am meant to go through this hardship, over come it, and help others who face this in the future and vow to do so.
Thank you again for all the prayers and support from the bottom of my heart. My husband and I appreciate it more than we could ever show.