Pathology Report

Well, it happened! I just saw my FAVORITE nurse, Karen, who is Dr. Crooms’ nurse. She removed my staples, drains, and gave my report from surgery…My pathology report from bilateral mastectomies and removal of 10 lymphnodes came back, NO CANCER!!!!!!!!!!! The phrase, “no evidence of disease” that I was hoping for is not in there, but it doesn’t matter. The pathologist who wrote it just kept referring to the original biopsy slides and scars as a reference point for the cancer that would have been there.

Some of this is confusing if you’re not familiar with cancer surgeries and my particular case. So, to be clearer: Some people have surgery first, but because mine had already spread I got treatment first and then surgery. The biopsy I had was not a surgical removal of the cancer, but was gathered by puncturing the main tumor with large needles. These needles left scar tissue, which was used a reference point for the report. They did not have cancer in them at the time of removal. For a pathology report they measure “margins”, which is the amount of cancer-free tissue that is removed from the cancerous area. The wider the margins, the less chance of recurrence, because it’s less likely that loose cancer cells jumped the line before removal. My margins are wide. Probably would have been wide anyway, because of the mastectomy, but the size and location of the original tumor could have made my margins smaller. But there was no original tumor left. It wasn’t even reported as a different color, just healthy stuff around the scar tissue that remained from the biopsy zone. Cool.
All that is a long way of saying: God wins, cancer/Satan loses.

God is so good, I feel SO guilty about having thrown myself a pity party this week. I always say that He is good no matter what, but I’ve been in such a bad, crabby zone lately that it was effortful to convince myself of His awesomeness. But guess what? He loves me anyway! This is evidenced in many ways, not just by healing my cancer.

I often meditate on the fact that He loves me IN SPITE of who I am, not BECAUSE of who I am. I am overcome with gratitude and utter humility just thinking about it. He has chosen me for this journey, molded me, carried me, forgiven me, overlooked my flaws, all to glorify Himself in some way. Can you imagine? A king choosing to be represented by a commoner. A judge entrusting a hardened criminal with his valued possessions. A father selecting his outcast, worthless child to take over his company rather than all the righteous, perfect ones that seemingly deserve it.

I am overcome with joy from my father. I know the doctors will view this is a great outcome from all my medical treatment, but I know better. I know God has healed me, and only time or God himself can convince those with hardened hearts. That’s okay. In the meantime, I have many opportunities to share the news and plan to do just that.

“But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it–the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.” –Romans 3: 21-25.

I know I owe a LOT of people phone calls and emails. I plan to reenter the real world soon, and will contact you then. It turns out that hiding out in my room didn’t help that much, but it was worth a try.

I had a PET scan today. I don’t expect to get the results for probably a week, but let’s all keep praying for no cancer at all. At that time I will send all my reports to Mayo and MD Anderson just to update those doctors on everything.

I just noticed that a different version of the Bible (ESV) has a line I didn’t catch in whatever version I used when blogging the other day. This added line sums up a fear i had at the begining of this journey–I was afraid that I would be loud about praying to be healed, because if God chose not to it would make Him look bad. And I’m sure I was at least a bit afraid I would look stupid. I remember my pastor teasing me that I didn’t need to worry about how God looks, so I made an effort to drop it. But the last line below sums up the issue of ourselves being shamed, and somehow it fits into the whole thing. Nice how it’s taken months but He’s showing it to me now when I’m ready to receive it.

Romans 5:3-5, “More than that, we rejoice in our suffering, knowng that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does NOT put us to SHAME, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”


11 thoughts on “Pathology Report

  1. Such awesome news, Erin! I have been following your blog for quite some time now and I know I don't comment much…but you are placed on my heart every single day and so I am continually praying for you. You are such an amazing encouragement to me. Thank you for being so open and honest with your journey, the ups and the downs.



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