Thursday, April 16, 2015

Breast Cancer Round Two

Sometimes I wish I could see into the future,
to know what waits for me around every corner.
But God in His infinite wisdom knows I have to learn to live by faith,
trusting that come what may, He will care for me and my family.

One year ago I was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer metastatic to my liver.
The chemo treatments were harsh and there was a lot of pain and narcotics and bed rest.

But I beat it!!!

The cancer miraculously shrunk and disappeared.
I continued medications that were supposed to keep the cancer at bay,
since stage 4 cancer is never cured, only controlled.

And then in December I began to feel that the cancer in my breast was growing again.
The oncologist had me scanned and said it was smaller than the year before.
But I wondered, is it smaller than after I finished chemo?

Another scan 2 months later confirmed my suspicions,
the cancer had returned to my breast.
I started chemo again 5 days later.

This time the chemo would be milder she said.
But I was afraid.
I have a job now that I love.
Would I be able to do it every day?
Would my hair fall out again?
Would I have to go on narcotics for the pain 
and go through the terrible process of weaning myself off?

This chemo was every week, instead of every 3 weeks.
My husband had a hard time taking that much work off so I got friends to go.
I had a great time getting to know more about these wonderful women 
as they were stuck beside me for several hours in the chemo chair!

The weeks went by and the pain was minimal.
I didn't need the narcotics!
I could drive!
I could go to my job at my kids' school every day!
It has been such a blessing to be there,
to have somewhere to go to get my mind off cancer
and be surrounded by the love of those wonderful children, staff and parents!

I found the hardest part this time was my physical appearance.
Last year I shaved off my hair with no problem, but I was so sad to lose it again.
My face has broken out into a hundred pimples from the treatments,
and I feel like wearing a bag over my head and hiding in bed.
Again my job has saved me from staying home and feeling sorry for myself
and I am so grateful.

The chemo has done its job and the cancer has shrunk again!
I was so blessed that it did not return to my liver.
And this time we are taking it out!
Surgery is scheduled in a few weeks.
Single mastectomy with reconstruction, with the other breast to follow soon.
The surgeon feels that my body has been through so much this past year.
She doesn't want to risk infection by doing a double mastectomy.
I respect her cautious decision, but don't look forward to being lopsided for swimsuit season!

I can't say yet that I am grateful for cancer.
But my world is so much bigger than it was before!
My faith has grown.
My perspective has broadened.
And I have come to know so many amazing people 
that would not have been in my path without this cancer journey.

I had the opportunity to speak in church on Easter.
I spoke about hope and faith and trusting in the path God has for each one of us.
Faith is a choice.
Happiness is a choice.
They become habits as we choose them over and over again.
The hard things in our life can overtake us or be just a small part depending on what we choose.

My life is bigger than cancer.
I am grateful for the beautiful life I lead.
I am still the luckiest girl ever!



Heather @ It's A Lovely Life! said...

I'm so glad it was a bit easier this time around. You are such an inspiration and I think you are totally awesome!

Tiffany Grossen said...

Jaime, I want to be YOU when I grow up! YOU are so amazing! I LOVE your infectious happiness. You didn't hide out and feel sorry for yourself. Others you have touched through your journey will one day be faced with trials like yours and will remember your attitude and will triumph over adversity just like YOU!!! Thank you for giving all of us the opportunity to be a small part of all of this . YOU truly allow us all to live the gospel and the true sisterhood of charity. Thank you for your example.


Trece said...

I have continued to hold you before the throne daily. Recently you have been on my heart more heavily; now I know why. You attitude builds up MY faith, and I thank you for that. May God touch and heal you, especially thru this upcoming surgery. xoxo, Trece

Jodie said...

You are amazing and beautiful. Whatever this trial is teaching you, you're teaching all of us one hundred-fold. Thank you for your example. You're in my prayers always.

Michelle Paige said...

Praise God! What an encouraging, uplifting, full of hope post! Thank you for sharing your story. May God continue to work in you by keeping you physically, mentally and spiritually healthy.

Ann said...

You are such a strong woman; I'm so glad that things are a little easier on you.
Lop-sided or not, you have so many people who love you--and I'm one of them. Thank you for your strength, your compassion and your spirit--you inspire me!

cheryl said...

So grateful to hear it's shrunk again! And that it didn't return in your liver!

(Was the first photo taken on your birthday last year? Everything about it looks familiar. :) )

mascanlon said...

Hugs, you are such an inspirTion.

Tasha said...

Man, I just love you Jaime! You are such an amazing amazing woman. Love you

Kelly Prososki said...

Your a beautiful soul, my heart reaches out to you for being so brave. I wish you the best in your journeys

Mary said...

You are incredible! Much prayers and love to you.

Along Came Mary said...

You're so effing awesome, Jaime. I love your blog & hope to meet you one of these days (Come up anytime to Sherman Oaks & lunch, ice cream, coffee, any treat, on me!)

Molly @ Love the Everyday said...

You have such an excellent attitude! As a teacher I know how much energy it takes just to get out of bed on a normal Monday, i can't imagine adding rounds of chemo to the mix. You have such bravery and I admire you! xo

Gertrude Made (Cathi) said...

Lovely Lady you are just AMAZING. Your positivity is so infectious and I'm so pleased this time you've been able to continue with your work...the world needs the light you shine. Much love xx

LoveSewHard said...

This is my fist visit to your blog and I was sad to hear that you have had to go through this twice. But happy to hear that you are doing well. I love your pics, my hair looks just like your, I am on chemo (much more mild) once a week for lupus. This is also my second time, with no foreseeable end in sight. I also have a great faith and a positive attitude, which helps tons! I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers - Camille

El Olor de Cádiz said...


Kristin Bolling said...

I used to read your blog, two years ago or less. I still have you on my "List of blogs" I follow. For some reason, I stop exploring your blog, on a weekly or evenly monthly basis. I think it was because you had stopped posting for a while and I thought maybe you chose to not blog anymore. I just randomly checked your blog today and saw this post. WOW how things have changed since I have last visited your blog. Aren't you so glad that you know the Lord? Without trusting in HIS sovereignty, I'm sure you would be sulking and feeling sorry for you, while cooped up in your bedroom. What a grace it is that HE has given you the courage to move forward, with or without the ability to foresee what the future holds. Continue making memories and cherishing your family. Here's hoping your surgery goes/went well.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...