God doesn't give us what we can handle. God helps us handle what we are given. With this mindset, God has perfectly placed hardships and blessings into my path to prepare me for my journey. I am ABUNDANTLY BLESSED with a SPECTACULAR FAMILY and FRIENDS who encourage, support and love me UNCONDITIONALLY. I thank God so many times a day for allowing me to go through the hardships I did, so that I can have the blessings that I have now. I couldn't imagine having CANCER at this time last year, but God knew that I wasn't strong enough to handle it then. His timing is PERFECT AND PRECISE! God also knew that it would be difficult for me to face this time with my four children as a single parent, so he blessed our family with Jeremy and his boys.
Our Wedding Day:
January 26, 2017
1: One God
26: Two Hearts/Six Children
17: Our Family Number (My brother's baseball number, my softball number in high school and college, Ty's baseball number)
How I found out:
Jeremy and I had been working out A LOT, and I thought I had pulled a muscle in my peck area. As I was feeling around on the right side of the breast (trying to see where it was hurting), I then compared it with the left side. This is when I felt a mass on the left breast. Additionally, I had been having some problems with my left arm hurting, but I thought that it was sore from working out. On February 6, 2017 (11 days after our wedding day) I had an ultrasound and 3d mammogram performed on the mass. I am 39, so technically I am not suppose to start having mammograms until next year, so I am very fortunate that I discovered the mass. The technician performed the ultrasound, and within a minute of her taking pictures, she went and had the radiologist review the pictures and he came in and discussed the need for a biopsy. On February 16, 2017 (21 days after our wedding) I had a needle biopsy performed. I was so calm during the procedure, as I knew I had absolutely no control over the outcome. All I could say was:
If it is Benign: I WILL PRAISE HIM
If it is Cancer: I WILL PRAISE HIM
On Monday, February 20, 2017 (25 days after our wedding) WE are diagnosed with BREAST CANCER. I say WE, because this isn't just a me thing. This is a family thing. We have been to several doctor's appointments (breast surgeons, plastic surgeons, oncologists), have had genetic tests done, oncotype testing done, MRI, and soon a PetScan. Jeremy and I discussed all of the different options the doctors have presented, and feel that a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction is the best option. With the results of the oncotype test and the possibility of the cancer spreading into my lymph nodes (we will know once the surgery is performed and this is likely why my arm is hurting so badly), I will undergo chemotherapy as well. We do not have dates set for anything as insurance continues to be a road block for us.
I never thought Jeremy and I would be going to an oncologist appointment on our one month anniversary. I never thought we would be facing a trial such as this so soon into our marriage. But God knew what we were about to endure. GOD KNOWS the two hearts he joined together, and the relationship that HE created was one that was built on FAITH that will NEVER waver regardless of the trials we face. We are so fortunate to have the kids be witnesses to these hardships. It is my prayer that we can teach them through praying and having faith, all things are possible. We have had many conversations with the kids on what to expect with surgery and treatments. We have been able to answer the hard questions, sometimes through tears, sometimes through uncontrollable laughter. Jeremy has been to every single doctor's appointment with me and has made numerous phone calls on my behalf to different doctors and the insurance company. I am SO BLESSED AND GRATEFUL to have him by my side. He has certainly been my best advocate, rock and shoulder to cry on!
I have an AMAZING FAMILY that continues to check on me and pray for me daily. Our family bond is incredible! We are so blessed to have one another. My parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins...I am one blessed girl!!!
While all of this is going on at home, I am doing my best to maintain my classroom, with the help of our amazing team (Cindy Caudle, Tina Anderson, Kristen Anderson & Misty Neuls). I certainly would not be able to focus on getting better if it weren't for them taking over and handling the students and projects we have going on. I appreciate them so very much!
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."”