Cancer AND Chemo Free!!!! (written 5/3/12)

When I published yesterday’s blog I noticed that this one was never published. I wrote it 5/3 and somehow saved it as a draft instead. The reference to a school play was before the ballet recital you might have seen on Facebook.

From 5/3/2012:

This was such an amazing day AND week, I hate to just do a quick blog about it. I don’t have time to do it justice but felt an update was in order.

I snapped out of my funk when I was last blogging, and it hasn’t come back. I feel SO much better about everything. I don’t know if God had mercy on me and pulled me out or if my attitude just improved the way I perceive everything. Maybe both.

I saw Dr. Crooms for my bilateral mastectomy consultation on Tuesday. I had this weird anxiety beforehand because I wanted to have him take care of a few other issues that were causing me enormous amounts of pain. So, I got it in my head that he wouldn’t have time to let me really explain it and was praying nonstop for the consultation. I have no idea why I thought he wouldn’t give me the time–he’s never made me feel like he even has other patients than me–but I was very concerned. The meeting not only went perfectly, but everything he told me about the recovery was better than expected.

He did an exam and was the THIRD doctor now to deem me “cancer-free”!!!!! All of them felt the original tumor early on and continue to shake their heads when they declare “there’s nothing there”. I haven’t had a PET scan lately, although I expect to soon, but I have no reason to believe that I am anything but cured. Perfectly healed and cured by my perfect creator. Dr. Crooms is going to take only one node during the surgery because it’s gone from all my nodes. As long as it comes back clear (in the quick frozen section they do while I’m cut open), he won’t take any others. Remember the frozen section biopsy is the one that came back as non-cancerous with my tumor but it was really cancer. I’m not worried because I am so confident that God healed me entirely. But, I’ll be happier to see the results of the full biopsy in the pathology report from the full removal.

Dr. Crooms said the first week of my recovery will be the hardest, and he won’t put restrictions on how many pounds I can lift. I had read I might not be able to lift more than 5 lbs for several weeks, so that is a huge blessing. I usually can’t go more than a few minutes without lifting Naomi. He said I’ll be similarly fatigued to chemo, so considering what I’ve been through I should be fine. Fortunately I have a high pain threshold too, it’s more of the emotional aspect that I’m gearing up for.

Today was my last chemo. Things changed a tad but it was still a great experience. A few of my old buddies couldn’t come today so I didn’t get to chat with them, but Yaacov surprised me and showed up! That was really nice, a really big surprise. Have I mentioned I am extremely blessed? I thought I would see Dr. Rassam today but it’ll actually be in two weeks. It was supposed to be next week but I already scheduled something else because I thought I was done today. The chemo nurse also mentioned I’ll have to get a shot (Xgeva, sp?) every month, for either 2 years or forever, and that was a surprise. But who cares?!?! That shot is a substitute for another I used to get (I think Neulasta but don’t remember for sure), and is much better than it. There are no side effects that I’ve ever noticed.

I can’t stop remembering everything. It has been a long road, and I’ve been carried along the way by God and all my loved ones. Just a few months ago the doctors were all telling me there was no hope for me, and now I rarely hear that. And, even in my darkest hours I don’t believe it at all. When we were praying for these miracles before I wanted to believe but always had the gut level of pain in my heart that maybe God only heals Stage 4 cancer after we die. Maybe part of taking up my cross each day would mean living with cancer and just trying to keep it at bay. But now I breathe deeply and freely. I don’t even have the nagging voice of the enemy whispering lies to me. This experience is far from over, but I’m going through surgery and whatnot because God is asking it of me, not because it’s a lifeline.

Abigail was in a school play yesterday. The last time she had one was the day I was diagnosed. We didn’t know how bad it actually was yet, but had an inkling that this would be a long road. I barely kept it together that time. I know a lot more now, and everything is changed in every way. Every cell in my body is different than it was that day. But the pride and joy I felt watching my daughter on that stage has only deepened since then. I can’t tell you what a honor it was and is to sit in that audience watching my 4 year old cover her ears throughout the whole play. We could only see part of her face because she kept turning to watch the actors. She was a little disappointed in herself afterward, but I wouldn’t have changed even a second of it. She was perfect. Is perfect. The ultimate gift, and as I cried like a baby while I watched that play I didn’t have to wonder if it was the last one I would see. God decides on the timing of everything so I’m not promised another play, but none of that nonsense matters anymore. What matters is I got to see her be herself on that stage, making memories. And her biggest concern can continue to be that the music is too loud, because there is no disease eating away at her mommy.

Praise, praise, praise that God! He is good in the bad times, and that helps me appreciate the good times. He has carried me through 32 years of life, and 6 months of cancer treatments. This is not the end of the story. It is “to be continued”, and I’m excited and honored to be a part of it until He sees fit.

Joy, joy, joy. Joy to the King. To the Master. Creator. Father. Healer.

Ps 113, “Praise the Lord. Praise, O servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord. Let the name of the Lord be praised, both now and forevermore. From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised. The Lord is exalted over all the nations, His glory above the heavens. Who is like the Lord our God, the One who sits enthroned on high, who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth? He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes, with the princes of their people. He settles the barren women in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the Lord.”

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