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!