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Cancer – Part 3.

Here’s my 3rd email update… and before I get to it, I want to talk about Easter, because that’s really what THIS is all about for me!! 


Think for a minute about Jesus and WHY He is here… He is God’s Son who was born into the world, became man like all of us to experience life as we do, yet without sin. he totally gets the experience of being human and the feelings that we all feel. He faced this world and lived blameless. He was killed… crucified on a cross and was completely dead. Until 3 days later, He rose again here on Earth before joining His Father in Heaven. Crazy story huh? [This is just a quick version, theres so much more to this story that I can’t possibly sum it up in just a few sentences.] But what’s even more crazy… that Jesus WILLINGLY gave up His life for us… ALL OF US! He could have brought himself down off the Cross, He could have chosen a way out, but He didn’t. That’s how much He loves us, that’s how much He’s willing to give up His own life so that we can live forever with Him. His WHOLE life y’all, for all of us… not just me, YOU too. I pray you dwell on His grace and goodness today and always, knowing that no matter how far away from him you may feel- you’re never too far I promise- He’s so close and wants you to call on Him. There’s truly power in His Name!!! I could talk for days about the resurrection and what that looks like for us as Christians, it’s such a beautiful story of our Father’s love for us. 


Now here’s the 3rd email… it’s a good one. 

Spoiler Alert – its the one where I told everyone that it was cancer. 

One more thing… since these emails were all written a few weeks ago, I have included Blog Updates at times to give you an update of what has happened since this email from test results, scheduled dates, etc.

First, I want to say how incredibly thankful Steven and I am to have each of you… your prayers, your thoughts, texts, your sweet notes of encouragement, flowers, going to Mass, fasting, praying, continuing to pray. I am so SO very thankful. The peace I felt yesterday going into my doctor’s office to hear the news was all God… I have been specifically praying and reading over and over a few verses, but one that I have specifically prayed for the past few days and even had taped on my bathroom mirror throughout all of high school is this: 

Deuteronomy 31:6 – Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes before you; he will never leave you or forsake you. 

THEN that must have been really important because just a few verses later, in Deut 31:8 It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” In just 8 verses the same thing is said 3 times… clearly, the LORD did not want us to miss this!! He will go before you, before me, into whatever we are about to have to face. He is there in our midst. 

Now, let me backtrack a little bit to Monday at about 5:00. My doctor called and confirmed what we were all praying against. 

It’s cancer. 

I’m 31 and I have breast cancer. 

I’m still trying to let that sink in, it just doesn’t seem real. 

My mom had it the first time when she was 32 and here I am at almost 32 experiencing the same thing. Steven and I went in to discuss the next steps today and I was scared, but no tears were shed there and I left feeling confident that sometime in the future I will look back on this, thank God for bringing me through this horrible storm, but also praise Him for letting me tell this story in hopes that He is glorified through it all. 

We ended up having to wait longer than we initially expected for the doctor because she was held up in the OR. I didn’t have anything but my phone, usually I have my kindle or bible to read in my purse, but my kindle app pulled through and I started reading Ann Voskamp’s new book, The Broken Way. Those 30 pages were exactly what I needed to read and hear while I was waiting, to fill the quietness. 

Remember when I told you the verse… the reason for all of this? 

John 9:3 This happened so that God’s work could be shown in his life. 

Remember that!?! 

God is doing HIS work THROUGH ME! 

Ann says – 

“I’ve got to remember to just keep breathing – keep believing. In Christ- no matter the way, the storm, the story- we always know the outcome. Our Savior – surrounds. Our future – secure. Our joy – certain. When we know Christ, we always know how things are going to go- always for our good and always for His glory”

… then she continues… 

“I’ll take his works like a daring covenant, not knowing yet what’s to come: there is no growth without change, no change without surrender, no surrender without wound – no abundance without breaking. Wounds are what break open the soul to plant the seeds of deeper growth.”(The Broken Way, 25-26.) 

So what does that mean to me? So glad you asked! 😉 I am face down in complete surrender to Him. Jesus is the only way. He changes everything. He is capable of more than we can ever even possibly imagine. In Nehemiah, it says, The JOY of the Lord is my STRENGTH. Thank goodness I can find my strength in Him and call on him in this time of need. 

Ok, I’ll stop preaching and get down to the details, but I need y’all to know this… what treatment I am about to undergo, how sick I am going to possibly be, how bald I will look, its just going to suck, BUT no matter how bad it may be – I’m scared it could get pretty bad y’all not gonna lie – I KNOW that I will not stop praising God through it all. Because He is worthy and he loves us that much, enough for His son, Jesus, to die on the cross for you and me. 

That’s a whole lot.

Details – 

*Cancer is stage 1A, grade 2, Invasive ductal carcinoma and ductal carcinoma in situ. That means its the most common type of breast cancer, its NOT in my lymph nodes, and it was caught in the earliest stage possible. (Blog Update: Praise the LORD!! Which means I possibly won’t have to have chemo, get really sick, etc. – still praying and believing for this one!) 

*We are still waiting to hear back about my hormone receptor status which will give us a better idea of how fast the cancer can grow and the chances of it coming back. Depending on those results, my treatment will be meds (for 5 years) with or without chemo depending on results (Blog update: Her2 was negative meaning – very likely no chemo, Estrogen and Progesterone positive at 99 and 100% — cancer is only growing at an 8% rate, which is really slow!) 

*Surgery – it will happen in the next 2 months, sooner rather than later. I have to meet with a plastic surgeon and genetic counselor first. (Blog Update: Surgery is scheduled on Tuesday, April 25th)

*I had genetic bloodworm done today that I will get back in about 2 weeks o see the likelihood of recurring cancer, genes for other types of cancers, etc. (Blog Update: ALL genetic testing came back negative – this is really fantastic news!!) 

PRAYERS

1) That the hormone receptor results come back, favorable. The result will come back positive or negative for 3 different tests, I honestly do not know which it needs to be, but just pray for good results! (Blog update: Her2 was negative meaning – very likely no chemo, Estrogen and Progesterone positive at 99 and 100% — cancer is only growing at an 8% rate, which is really slow!) 

2) That the cancer doesn’t spread to my lymph nodes between now and my surgery (Blog Update: still praying for this one… surgery is on April 25th) 

3) Surgery decision – whether I will be getting a mastectomy (Likely a bi-lateral one) or lumpectomy… this is the biggest decision I have to make, soon. Either way, the chances of cancer (breast) reoccurrence is only a 2% difference, so its truly my decision of which route I want to go. Right now I am leaning towards a double mastectomy, maybe pray that the Lord continues for me to feel confident in that decision. (Blog Update: Double/Bi-lateral Mastectomy it is!) 

4) Steven, his support, and all that goes along with helping and caring for me – He is so Wonderfull y’all. I am so very thankful! (Blog Update: please continue to pray for him to and all that he will have to endure and the support he will have to give me and John over the next few months) 

5) My sweet grandmother, she experienced this with my mom – her daughter- 16 years ago, for the 2nd time with my mom, and now here she is having to go through it with me. She is so tenderhearted. Please pray for her to have strength and for the Lord to comfort her through it all. She also lives 2 hours away so that doesn’t make it any easier for us. (Blog update: Please continue to pray for her, she’ll probably read this – Love you MeeMee!!!) 

6) That the genetic testing comes back all negative (they are testing 28 genes – thats 26 more than they tested me for 9 years ago!)  (Blog Update: ALL NEGATIVE!!) 

6) Continued peace that God has this under control, for the doctors to help guide me in making the decision that is best and their knowledge in decisions, too. Continued strength for me, to stay positive, and getting good sleep

Thank you so much for listening. I am praying for all of you who hear this as much as I am praying for myself. That the Lord meets you in these moments. Dwell on His goodness and His never ending grace. 

Love you all so very much!! 

Carly

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