Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your prayers, support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting!
On Wednesday, November 7, 2018 Danielle went to her doctor with a painful lump in her breast that we thought would be a cyst. Her doctor, expressing concern, sent her for an urgent mammogram and ultrasound the same day, where she was told that she had breast cancer. The next week was packed with a biopsy, MRI, and CT scan. At the end of the week we received more bad news: the biopsy confirmed that the cancer was invasive, and imaging tests revealed that it had spread to her bones. We were suddenly dealing with stage 4 breast cancer at age 33.
Though we were shocked and frightened, we had a sense that God had a purpose for us in this situation, we are trusting that God will heal Danielle and preserve her life, allowing her to raise her little boy into adulthood.
Danielle is a warm and spirited woman who cherishes her family and friends, and she has even continued to make them laugh in the midst of this difficult diagnosis. She and her husband, Brad, the love of her life and her best friend, just celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary in July, and she is a wonderful stay-at-home mother to their enegetic and adorable three-year-old boy. Danielle is also active in ministry in her church and is just starting a business as a part-time interior decorator.
We are grateful to all of you who are offering your support during this difficult time. The most important thing you can do to help is to pray boldly and earnestly for Danielle's full healing and for peace of mind. The second is to send Danielle your notes of encouragement. It has done us a world of good to hear from family, friends, and strangers who are all praying for us and lovingly expressing their support. We know that we are not alone, and we look forward in hope with all of you.
I have decided to go forward with the surgery to strengthen my broken vertebra, and it is now scheduled for this coming Friday, June 28th. This was the first date Dr. Fixit had available, but I already had a MRI and mammogram scheduled for that day. So I ended up rescheduling the MRI for July 8th, and the earliest I could get the mammogram was July 30th. I'll talk to Dr. Awesome on Monday to see if this is acceptable or if she can have them get me in sooner.
I feel settled in the decision to have the surgery, and I feel fairly certain that it is the right thing to do. This helps me to feel more confident, although I am still dreading being awake for the procedure. It should only take about an hour, so it helps to know that I will only need to hang in there for a limited amount of time.
Back in November I was only partially sedated during a bone biopsy, and I was definitely aware of what was happening (Aaaaagggghhhhh you just took a piece of my bone!!!) and could feel pain, so I have a reasonable idea of what this may be like. I think this knowledge is not helping! However in the past I have endured two root canals without novocaine, not to mention child birth, so this should be a piece of cake. Right? Right? That's what I'm trying to tell myself anyway.
I will report to the hospital at noon on the 28th, and surgery will be at 1pm. They told me to pack a bag in case I have to spend the night in the hospital, but if everything goes very well they will just keep me there for a few hours after the surgery for observation, and then I will get to go home.
While I wait for this whole ordeal to be behind me, I am trying to plan plenty of distractions for this coming week, and I'm trying to figure out a way to get through Friday morning, as I wait to have the surgery, without having a panic attack. It will just be hard. There's no getting around that. But I'm trying to plan some fun things before and after the procedure so I can focus more on happy things than on dreadful ones. On the day I made the appointment for the surgery, I got to go to opening night of Cirque du Soleil, and that proved to be a terrific distraction. It was amazing, and we even got to go backstage after the show!
The other thing that I think will help me is to focus on the benefits of having a repaired spine: I won't have to always worry about the vertebral body collapsing, and I will be able to lift things again. Please just pray that everything goes exactly as it is supposed to and that I would have peace throughout this week and especially on Friday morning. I hate being afraid.
Thank you so much for standing with me in the hard times and supporting me in so many ways. It truly makes an incredible difference. I am so grateful. ❤ And at this time next week I may be quite uncomfortable, but the hardest part will be over, and that is a happy thought.