Category: Breast Cancer Journey

God’s Not Done

I often ponder God’s plan for my life. It would be comforting to know I’m on the right path and if I’m really doing what God wants me to do.

Well, there’s one thing I do know. Either way, He’s going to use it for our good and His glory. What we do is all part of a greater plan.

Recently, I was thinking of my Chemo treatments for Breast Cancer. It was scary enough having Breast Cancer, but Chemo was the worst physical experience I’ve ever been through. Toward the end of my treatment I wasn’t sure I was going to make it, but God pulled me through.

It felt like Chemo was killing me, but God was using Chemo to kill the Cancer, not me.

Looking back I can say, “Breast Cancer was the best thing that ever happened to me.” It brought me heart to heart with the King himself.

I woke up this morning at 5:30 am.

It’s a new day, so God’s not done.

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Living God’s Best

I ran into a friend yesterday, and she asked, “Are you okay?” She had a look of concern on her face, and I assured her that I was. She had read my Blog about the Cancer scare, and wanted to make sure I was all good. She is not the only friend that wasn’t sure, so let’s see if I can be more clear.

What we go through in life is a test of some sort.

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I don’t believe there is Cancer in my breast. The technician wasn’t sure what she was seeing during the sonogram, so I had the films sent to my Oncologist who knows my history. He didn’t see anything concerning, but wants to see my next film in six months. I’m not worried, so don’t you be either!

God used that situation to reach the right people, and I now have really good health insurance!

In March, or April of next year, I will have another mammogram, and have faith for God’s best. Since walking out of the imaging center a month ago, I have made life changes, and am still making them. When God shows me His best, I want to give Him my best in return. The entire incident brought this to the forefront of my mind.

“What do I want my life to look in six months? Am I living God’s best?”

You’re Not Alone

I published a Blog yesterday, and went back into my Blogsite and deleted it. The same thing happened today. Write, edit, publish, and an hour later, delete. To the 5 people who read them both, “I apologize if I scarred you for life.”

My email followers received notifications of the posts. Clicked on the link, and stared at air. I apologize to you too. I have discovered that waiting on this appointment next week causes me to feel vulnerable. I don’t mind being vulnerable, but to let someone read about it, amplifies the feeling.

If you’re a writer, maybe you do the same thing.

Publish a Blog, and then delete it, or maybe you have some in drafts that you can’t bring yourself to finish, and publish. I have some of those too, but there is something I’ve learned.

No matter how sucky I think that published Blog may be…it’s going to help someone. It’s going to have something in there that someone needs to see. So, maybe if I write this at night, hit publish, and go to bed, you can read it while I sleep. Because waiting on Tuesday to arrive is not working.

My instinct is to disappear for a few days, and become quiet.

To remove myself from the lives of the people I love, so they don’t have to be a part of what I’m going through. That is my way of protecting them. Well, the last time I checked, my circle of people are some brilliant, grounded adults who can decide whether they need protection or not.

I believe you are only as alone as you allow yourself to be.

I don’t feel alone, so thank you, for not leaving me alone.

Wait With Me

I write about a beautiful life, and that is my hearts desire to share with you. Right now, I feel the need to get this out, and writing always helps soothe the soul.

Once again, I am waiting.

Last Friday, I went in for my 6 month checkup, and had a mammogram.

It began as routine, and then the technician came in for more scans. This is the left breast that held Cancer last year. After having 6 scans, I was escorted into the sonogram room. The technician rolled the handheld device over my breast for what seemed like a very long time. She sent the scans to be reviewed by the doctor, and in came the doctor.

The doctor tried to sound casual as she spoke. “You have a couple of areas I’m not sure about, but they are not screaming Cancer to me. I’d like to see you again in six months.”

Does Cancer scream?

I left there concerned, but not worried. Wasn’t going to jump to any conclusions until my Oncologist saw the film. I knew she would know if there was any cause for concern.

She called today and wants to see me. “There are areas of concern…” Her first available appointment is 10/24, which is almost two weeks away. I ask that you wait with me.

Set Me Free

I want to show you my hair.

As you may have read in Repeat if Desired, we were trying to bleach it to white. Then my daughter was going to put lavender on it, but it has evolved into something on it’s own.

My hair grows fast, which I learned Thanks to Chemo. By the time we got it to the lightness we wanted, it had grown out of the style we were shooting for. So, we shaved the sides, and back.

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This entire process has set me free from the stigma placed on hair. We have had so much fun with it! I told her today, “When you homeschool, and my hair becomes the project?”

God works like that. We started out with a style and color in mind, but over time it became something we could not have done if we tried. My daughter just keeps experimenting with it. There is nothing she can hurt. It’s only hair, and during Chemo I was bald for months!

What we have in mind, and what God has in mind are two totally different things. Even when things don’t look exactly the way we intended, He will use it for His glory. It just sets me free!

Feel the Music

This song came to mind as I was driving to my mammogram appointment Thursday.

As I mentioned in “Test of Faith“, Seymour saw me as ‘suffering in silence’, during the Chemo part of my Breast Cancer Journey. I did get quiet during The Red Devil part, but I want to assure you, I saw every message, email, and text come into my phone.

It was laying on the bed beside me, and would sometimes wake me up with the vibration.

My daughter’s bedroom is across the hall, and I heard her playing this song, as it floated across into my room. Those last two doses of Red Devil had me under a spell, and this song described exactly how I felt physically.

In the song, he is talking about leaving/dying, which I knew I wasn’t, but I was thinking. “This has got to be what dying feels like.”

It’s not that we want to be alone, and thanks to you, we don’t feel alone. I would pick up my phone, and look at it with one eye closed, trying to focus on the screen, but it hurt my eyes. I could see, and feel the love, but could not physically respond for several days.

Friends were reaching out, but I couldn’t respond.

I dedicate this song to the loved ones that want to help, but don’t know how. Your presence is known, even if it’s not acknowledged. We’re just soggy from the Chemo.

PS. Twenty-One Pilots remade this song as a tribute to ‘My Chemical Romance’, who is the original artist.

Test of Faith

As I was driving to my Mammogram appointment Thursday morning, all these recollections of my Breast Cancer journey came to mind. Driving down a country road, toward the city, I saw a slide show before me.

Moments where my faith was tested, and I was ready to call it quits. Seymour mentioned that I suffered in silence, so why did I feel so exposed?

I arrived at my appointment, was escorted to a screening room, and stood before that massive machine for the first time in a year. The last time I was there, I could only hug it, and sob, but this time was different. The technician had to keep moving the machine upwards to accommodate my height. I was stronger now, so maybe I was standing a little bit taller.

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The technician used the machine to take pictures of both breasts in 3D. When she was done, I went to sit in a private lounge, just for women waiting for the test, or the results.

I sat down across from a woman, I guessed to be retirement age. She had been crying, and was clutching the front of her gown, trying to keep it from falling open. I had been right where she was sitting, so I asked her, “Are you okay?” She started to cry some more.

She told me that she had been so faithful with her Mammograms. She had received one every year for as far back as she could remember. She was late in getting this one, and when she did, they saw something concerning.

They had just done a more in depth one, and she was waiting to hear the next steps. She was at her beginning, and I was at my end.

The first thing I assured her of was, there is no such thing as ‘late’. You are here now, and that is all that matters. I shared the names of all my doctors with her, and she frantically took notes. The technician came back to get me, and as I left, I looked at her and said, “God bless you.” She whispered the same to me, and I told her, “He does everyday love.”

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My journey created a profound intimacy with God. It’s still there, even though my journey is coming to a close. God was getting ready to test my faith, as see what I had learned.

The technician escorted me to a different room, which I recognized immediately. There was the table I had laid on during my biopsy. She asked me to lay on the table, and open the right side of my gown. I laid down, and asked her, “You realize the lump was in my left?”

She said, “Oh I know Mrs. Holmes, but we saw something in the right that we need to take a closer look at.” My world stopped. I realized I had been so concerned about the left one, that I hadn’t paid much attention to the right. I felt the warm gel hit my breast, and the wand of the sonogram machine started sliding around. At that point, I lost all control.

I broke down, and started sobbing on the table.

The female technician patted my arm, reassuring me that it was all okay. I told her, “I cannot do this again! I cannot go through it all again!!!” But you know what? If I needed to go through it again, God would be there. My next thought was, I would have both breasts removed, so at least I could come back as a 36C!

She completed the sonogram, and left the room to review the results with the Oncologist. When she returned, she exclaimed, “You are all good Mrs. Holmes. It’s only a cyst!” There was more than one test given here, and thanks be to God that I was able to pass ’em both.