Shelly Gardner Shelly Gardner20

First post: Jun 2, 2020 Latest post: Sep 17, 2020
First off, I want to say to You:  Thank you so much for supporting us, praying for us, and your concern for us during this time.   I have been so encouraged by the messages and cards I have received, the texts, meals, flowers and the phone calls.  It has meant So Much to feel the LOVE from so many.  All of these thoughtful acts of kindness have made a loving impression on my family, and it was greatly appreciated more than you know. 

In case you haven't heard the whole story,  I found out on March 20th, 2020 that I have an aggressive breast cancer.  It is triple negative breast cancer. It is inductive ( meaning it started in my breast duct) and invasive (meaning it has spread outside of where it started).  Thankfully, it is not metastatic. I felt very fortunate that it was found early by a  yearly mammogram screening.  I have felt and have seen God at work during this whole process.  On March 20th, Dr. Umphrey from the NEA Imaging Center called me and said that I had breast cancer, and she suggested that we make a few appointments  as soon as possible.  I could not believe what I was hearing.  She asked me if I wanted to set up the appointments or let her do it for me.   I felt like God led me to tell her to set up the appointment.  My experience with her so far had shown her to be, not only one of the most intelligent physicians I had ever met, but also she had proven to be personal and articulate.   Normally Chris and I would want to discuss and research which doctors to go to, but I believe this was a God-thing.  I felt like God was saying, "Let her do it,  you trust her."   Within 2 hours, she amazingly had appointments made for me to go to an oncologist and a surgeon.  She scheduled me with the most Excellent doctors.  Three weeks later, I had a lumpectomy at NEA.  When it was time for my surgery, I had to go in by myself because of COVID and visitors were not allowed.  It was not ideal to go to surgery alone but God provided very kind people to be there  with me.  They were ALL Fantastic from the pre-op  staff,  surgeon, anesthesiologist, to the nurses!  I could not have received better care.  Dr. Phillips, the surgeon,  first came in and said that I was very fortunate to be able to have surgery that day because he had 5 surgery cases scheduled, but for different reasons, mine was the only one that the hospital had not  cancelled because of COVID.  So I felt very Blessed to get to have surgery that day.  As far as the genetic testing,  MRI testing, and sentinel lymph node testing from the surgery, my  results came back negative. All of these were very encouraging results, and I am So Thankful!!!
Because triple negative breast cancer is such an aggressive type of cancer which generally is considered to have a poorer prognosis, my treatment plan consists of 4 treatments of chemotherapy ( three weeks apart) followed by 5 weeks of radiation. 
I have taken a leave of absence from the Neighborhood Market Pharmacy  in Paragould.  I am so Thankful for my co-workers, and I miss them dearly.  They were so protective  and supportive of me during the last weeks I was able to work.  
I feel very confident that God is at work in this journey, and I can see how I will be a better person on the other side of this process.  I have had more time to grow spiritually.  I have the longest prayer list for other people I've ever had, lol, because I've had more time to really connect with the people around me.  I've had more time to reflect, and I find myself being more intentional in how I spend my time.  I am excited about the spiritual growth that has come out of this.  God has also provided me amazing, helpful new friends to walk me through this process as well as current friends that are so supportive and loving. I have also been richly Blessed with my supportive husband, kids, parents, and sister.  
Thank you again in advance for your continued prayers!
With Love,  Shelly

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