A friend asked me the other day, “How are you dealing with this so well? You seem to be okay with all of this. How is that possible?”
I gave that a great deal of thought because most days, I do deal with this pretty well – Praise God! I know I am slower at getting things done and my mind goes astray more often than before. I think it is more the emotional toll this is taking that seems to show in those physical ways. While I say that I am really doing well, I know that this is taking a toll.
Some of the reasons why I can take this in stride are:
- They caught this early (this isn’t Stage 3+ or Terminal – they are talking cure)
- We had already knew we could no longer have any more children
- We have three amazing little ones at home to keep us busy & happy
- Most of all, we have amazing family, friends & faith. We could not do any of this alone.
That said, I don’t want to come across like this has all been easy. I have many moments of sadness. While they happen most often in the quiet moments, I can also read something in a book and start tearing up. I see / hear the word cancer and I start to tear up. And, if I need to tell you for the first time, face-to-face or over the phone about my diagnosis – plan on several seconds of silence and a very shaky voice.
Once I get into the details, I can usually control my emotions – but they are there, right under the surface, ready to go at a moments notice. So, I tried to think about what these emotions are…
Is it sadness? Am I angry? What is it?
And, after much thought, I still cannot come up with an answer.
There are so many things to be thankful for as stated above. Here are some things that could have made this diagnosis worse:
- Finding out before having kids
- Finding out much later when the prognosis would be much worse
Here is another amazing fact that I am so thankful that God guided me to make the right decision:
- When I first found out I had an abnormal pap, it was mid-June. We had two vacations scheduled in July, so I asked if I could come back for the 2nd test later in July. Had I gone back in mid-June, I would have missed out on two amazing vacations – one with my husband and one with the whole family!
And, here is another God moment:
- On Sunday, we were taking the kids up to see my parents. My cell phone was in my hand, but I missed a call from the oncologist. She left a message and said we would talk today.
- Now that I know the results of that call, I know that God was ensuring that I didn’t get that call. I needed to have a good visit with my family and not worry about the next steps.
So – here is the latest update:
- The pathology came back with active cancer cells. From what I understand, if they are 3mm or larger, they do the radical hysterectomy. If smaller, they do the regular hysterectomy.
- My cells are 2mm, so she is recommending the regular hysterectomy
- She still feels very confident that this will be cured.
Wow! I have so many additional questions now. When I heard the news, I was numb. I couldn’t think of any questions. All I heard was active cancer (no longer early – now it’s active). But now, I have lots of questions:
Should we discuss switching it to the radical procedure?
The difference between 2mm & 3mm is only 1mm and we are waiting 5 weeks.
Can they grow in that time?
Will they be sending the samples to pathology during the procedure to ensure they have clear margins?
They only checked the cervix – what about other places around the uterus? If they are active in the cervix, can they be more active in other places?
Now, I know that she is an expert and this is her field of expertise. And, I am a mess because I do not want to come across as questioning her judgment. We went to her because she comes highly recommended and truly, she is amazing! That said, I still want to know more. And, I also believe this – regardless of whichever procedure is done, the outcome is already determined.
That said, I am still going to get back in touch with her this week to ask those questions. And, as the shock wears off, I know I will have many more questions to ask her.
Here is the good news – she is still very confident we are talking cure. I need to fill my mind with that word – CURE!
Before my prayer, I want to end with this. Please know that yes, I am doing really good – all considering. I am keeping my focus on God and trying to see all the ways He is helping me through this. Helping us through this. That said, I still have many moments. Moments of sadness. Moments of fear. Worrying about more than I possibly should be worrying about. And, I am taking those moments in stride. I am crying when I need to, sleeping when I need to, snuggling with our babies & my husband a lot. And, I am also trying to get these last few weeks of travel done before I go out on leave – tying up all loose ends that I can and leaving the person stepping-in in a great place to move projects forward. And, while it may seem silly that I am so focused on work – it is that work that is helping to keep me focused and moving forward.
I thank You for all of the ways that You have helped to make this situation the best it possibly can be. In “Jesus Calling” today, it says
“Living in dependence on me is a glorious adventure. Most people scurry around busily, trying to accomplish things through their own strength and ability. Some succeed enormously; others fail miserably. But both groups miss what life is meant to be: living and working in collaboration with Me.”
I know this, when people say “God will not give you more than you can handle” it is only because You NEVER expect us to take this on alone. You are always there with us – every step of the way.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (GNB): But his answer was: “My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak.” I am most happy, then, to be proud of my weaknesses, in order to feel the protection of Christ’s power over me. I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Lord – while I have many weak moments, You strengthen me. I hope that others see You when they see me. It is You that provides my strength. It is You that provides my hope. It is You that guides me through this. I am nothing without You. However, (Philippians 4:13), I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me.
Thank You for Your strength! As You know, I definitely need it!