As all of you have become aware Laura has been diagnosed with stage 3a breast cancer. We will do our best to try and update as much as we can as we get and do more tests, have appointments, or things change. So many of you have reached out asking questions, wanting to help, and praying for us. We cannot be more blessed and thankful for all of the support. Right now this is what we know. She has more than one tumor in her right breast, cancer has also spread slightly into the lymph nodes in her armpit. Her cancer is kind of crazy as she had a biopsy in all 3 areas and all 3 areas tested positive or negative for all the different characteristics of cancer. What this means in non-medical terms all 3 areas will act and react different to any and all treatments we do. This is good in some ways, bad in others, but at this point it doesn't really matter, we got what we got. Since the biopsy was done we have run the gambit on all other sorts of tests and exploratory things. Slowly we have realized not to be scared about these tests, but to face them head on and know that they are routine and necessary. The doctors need to check every aspect and area in her body as best they can to hopefully determine that the cancer has not spread any further than we already know. At times these tests scare us when we think too much about them as we know a good test result means we get no worse, and a positive test result can only make things worse. So far she has done an EKG for her heart as her first treatment will be chemo, since she is young and in good health otherwise her chemo will be very strong, very aggressive, and for lack of better terms put her through hell at a rapid pace. We both know this summer won't be much fun but Laura is one tough cookie and we are encouraged that the doctors are willing to go this route as the more aggressive and stronger they attack it the better the results will be and we know she can handle it. The EKG was important since the chemo will be so strong, aggressive, and rapid her heart is at a minor risk. This was finally our first good test, she came back with a perfect EKG and we got our baseline set so that the doctors can monitor throughout our chemo. Although a small test it still felt good to finally hear we had a good one as we have only had bad answers since January. That same day kind of out of nowhere for us she had a Brain MRI. We heard both the oncologist (chemo doctor), and surgeon say that we would have an MRI. We never put two and two together that we would have two MRI's we just thought it was the same. Well we were wrong, got a call on Monday to schedule the MRI, had problems with insurance, but got that crap worked out (been fighting with insurance a lot) and had the Brain MRI done. This one had us in a rough spot mentally, what happens if we have a bad test, how do we handle that. Slowly we are learning we cannot think about or embrance the "what if" only the for sure. On Wednesday we got those results back. CLEAN SCAN praise GOD. When Laura called me to tell me that, i could just feel the uptick in her voice, her spirit had been lifted and we had a great day. 2 days in a row, 2 good tests after 3 months of all bad. We are now on a winning streak and don't have to worry about that "what if."
4am alarm goes off. That's early, even for me. I'm usually up and out of the house before anyone else is awake, but 4am is early. Today Laura will have her final cosmetic touch up surgery. Almost the end of the road, minus checkups and scans for years. Sitting in the waiting room anticipating what should be the FINAL surgery. Through all of this I am so thankful for so many people. My mom has the girls and already had to put Piper back to sleep this morning because she was worried about her mommy. Our girls have been so tough through all this and understand it more than we figured they would so having Grandma around today is great. So many countless others have helped with the kids, food, prayer, transportation, living with us for a weekend or week, visiting, or going with Laura when I couldn't. We are so thankful for all that and way more. Please pray again today for calm nerves, steady and smooth hands for the doctors. Today is about looks, confidence, and the rest of our lives. So pray for great results that Laura can smile about, be proud of, and just propel her toward life cancer free with this huge weight off her shoulders. She has been doing so well and been so tough for the last 18 months it has been unreal. I have learned so much. Our marriage is a million times stronger. It is crazy to think and say, but cancer has galvanized us and put us light years ahead in our relationship and marriage than if we wouldn't have gone through all of this. While I don't wish this journey on my worst enemy (hope I don't have any enemies), I know this was God's plan. He has used this to strengthen our bonds with friends, family, our church, co-workers, and so much more. He has showed us how to encourage others struggling in similar ways, given us so many opportunities to show Jesus to our kids, or let so many other people show Jesus to our kids through this journey. The Lord works in mysterious ways is the truth. God has made us so much better through this and will only continue to mold us through this experience. For all of you following that have been so faithful to us and our journey do not hesitate to reach out or send a friend our way if they need someone to talk to. Many did that for us and it was beyond helpful. I still can hear so many of those conversations in my head and recall them almost word for word. Laura and I needed everyone of those get togethers, phone calls, or letters in the mail. So many people pulled us out of our darkest, toughest moments and we will gladly try to shine Jesus' light for others as they have to fight the same battle we have almost conquered. We love all of you and thank you all so much. Today will be wonderdul and the last time I have to wake up at 4am for a surgery for the rest of our lives I pray.