"Lisa, it's cancer." Words I never thought I would hear. I'm only 29... I have a nine month old...You must be wrong! So here we are, 2 weeks after my diagnosis. It is amazing how one small lump can change your life. We've seen all the doctors, had all the tests and surgery is scheduled for next week. We feel like we have lived a whole year in 2 weeks.
I found a small lump several weeks ago. I am still breastfeeding so I just thought it was a clogged milk duct. It didn't go away like they had in the past. I worked with my doctor one night and she felt that I should have an ultrasound. During the ultrasound the radiologist was concerned about the lump which is less then 2 cm in size. They performed a biopsy 2 days later and I got the call while we were in the grocery store. Joel immediately went into action and called everyone we could think of to ask them to pray. Dr Risinger (my OBGYN) promptly started making calls and appointments. Over the next week we met Dr. Parker (the tumor surgeon) and Dr. Butler (the oncologist). These doctors and nurses went above and beyond to help make this process bearable.
After talking with the surgeon, oncologist, geneticist, counselor, and breast cancer survivors we have made the difficult decision to have a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction. (For all you non-medical people...a mastectomy is the removal of the breast including the tissue). After the surgery I will also be receiving chemotherapy. This decision, although very difficult, is best for our family and for the many years to come. We have learned that the cancer is localized to my left breast and an invasive tumor caused by estrogen. So, we pray that by having surgery we will eradicate the risk of ever getting cancer again. We are asking everyone to continue to pray that the cancer has not spread to my lymph nodes. We will not know this until the day of surgery.
Daily, Joel and I have been overwhelmed by the love and support from all our family and friends. God has given us both "peace that passes understanding." It's obvious that the prayers of the faithful have brought the peace. Yes, I'm nervous about the surgery and the chemo and the long recovery ahead of me. But, as my surgeon said, if I wasn't nervous he would worry. At least I am fully aware of what's about to happen. Joel has been my rock. He has literally picked me up off the floor and helped me find the strength that I need to keep going. Life must go on. We have to continue for Ella Joy. She is doing fine by the way. We suspect she senses something is up. She actually has been sleeping better than ever these past few weeks!! We've posted some great pictures of her so check them out.
We will be using this blog site as a communication tool for all those who are praying and are concerned with our progress. We will be sharing our ups and downs and of course some pictures along the way. Our blog will be updated several times a week after I have surgery. We hope that this can take the place of phone calls as our days will be difficult at first. Please feel free to leave words of encouragement for our family. Many people have asked, "what can I do to help?" Over the next few months we will need lots of prayer, babysitters, meals and words of encouragement. If you are wondering why flowers are not included, the answer is.....they die.
Please feel free to share our site and our story.