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April 19, 2018
In November of 2017, pain led me to a lump in my right breast. In the past, I have been told that pain is not associated with cancer. Since cancer is prevalent on both sides of my family I chose to take this discovery more seriously. Mammograms and ultrasounds were all negative.
On April 2, an umbilical hernia repair and lumpectomy was performed.
On April 5, the Dr. called and said what none of us expected to hear. YOU HAVE BREAST CANCER. Invasive Lobular Carcinoma is undetectable, in less than 10% of cancer patients and the average age of diagnosis is 64.
On April 9, a contrast MRI was performed. This is a very sensitive and accurate procedure that helps to clearly show breast tissue details.
On April 12, we learned that the MRI showed there could be more cancer in the right breast and may have spread to the sentinel lymph node. The Dr. is hopeful that the cancer was caught at an early stage and anticipates a successful recovery. From the current data it appears that the cancer is Stage 2, Level 2. The tumor is 2.2 cm or more.
I met with several surgeons and have decided to move forward with a double mastectomy and a lymph node removal. Two surgeons are working together to coordinate their schedules for this 2nd surgery. The surgery will be performed sometime in May. Things are moving very quickly.
The lymph node will be tested during surgery. If cancer in the node is confirmed, they will continue removing additional nodes. The Dr. will stop removing nodes before it compromises the lymphatic system. Cancer stage confirmation and a treatment plan will be determined when breast tissue, lymph node and genetic testing results are reported.
Josh is my strength. He takes care of our needs and provides a stability that brings security to our home. He is filtering through the influx of information and is staying positive.
Samuel (5) is processing and clings to me a little tighter. The possibility of losing my hair is on his caring heart. He is very concerned about that. We talk through the thoughts he is able to verbalize and share lots of hugs and kisses.
Louisa (7) overheard the C word from the initial phone call informing me that I have cancer. Her little mind was spinning. She has such a sweet love and appreciation for family heritage. She knows all about her lineage going back to great-great grandparents on all sides of her family. Unfortunately, from past discussions she knew that almost all of these loved ones died from some form of cancer. So in her mind, cancer = death. Louisa quickly moved from fear to prayer. She gently laid her hand on my arm and spoke a sweet prayer asking God to spare my life even though she knew I would be happy, dancing and singing in Heaven. She prayed for long life so I can see her grow up and get married. She went on to ask God to give me confidence in knowing that He will take care of me and that I can rest in that. Wow!! Louisa’s child-like faith is what God calls us to. Louisa is beyond her years and was able to minister to me in a powerful way. Louisa is claiming Romans 8:31, "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us."
Would you consider praying for these things that are on my heart?
*No infections or complications during upcoming surgeries and treatments and that the lymph nodes will be cancer free.
*Genetic test results will be clear.
*Josh would have the energy to successfully move from long days at work to children that need him and a wife that will have different needs.
*The children will be able to work through and articulate their emotions, feel cared for and validated. Discernment for everyone involved on how to guide and lead them through this experience.
*The hands and feet of those who are prompted to assist and walk this journey with us would be blessed in mighty ways and that our needs would be fully met.
*We claim that everything will work together for His glory and in His perfect timing as we seek His will.
I am not afraid. Psalm 23:4 says, "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." What I love about this verse is that it doesn't say I lie down in the valley of the shadow of death. It says, I WALK through it. I am choosing to walk through and face this hard thing even though I don't understand why. If we let them, these experiences can refine us. They can change our perspective, Scripture can have new and deeper meaning and our trust in Jesus can increase.
Romans 5:3-5 "Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."
With much love and anticipation of what God has for us,
Jeannine, JR, Ninja, Neanie, J9 (here are some nicknames you may know me by)