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Cancer – Part 4.

Here is my 4th email. I sent this out on March 22nd.


I am sorry I am late sending this out, but I have really great news that I am so excited to share!! 

My hormone receptor results came back and I am so very happy to say that I will not need chemo! (Blog Update: as of right now I will not need chemo, but my final pathology report will determine if I will 100% need it or not – pathology report will come back 3-5 days after my surgery on the 25th.)
For anyone that understands pathology reports…. I just figured this all out yesterday- SO MANY new words to learn, my estrogen and progesterone receptors were positive (99% and 100%) which means that I will be on Tamoxifen for this for the next 5-10 years AND the high percentages also tell how well it will respond to the meds, BUT my Her2 receptor was negative!!! Which was the one that ultimately determines whether I would have to have chemo or not, I am so very thankful!! Also, my Ki67 score, which determines the rate of the cancer cell growth, is 8% – anything 10% or lower is considered low. 

*You can skip this paragraph if you’re uninterested in the actual surgery – so many people are asking so I figured I’d explain! I met with the plastic surgeon today and it was great! *
I was nervous meeting with a male doctor, all my doctors have been women up until now, but he was so very nice, very thorough, and I felt really good about having him as my reconstruction surgeon. He does reconstruction surgeries all the time and also had fantastic things to say about my breast specialist doctor who will be doing the mastectomy so that made me feel even better about it all too. She will do the mastectomy, then he will come in and do the reconstruction part. Reconstruction will probably be in two phases – the first surgery (at the same time as mastectomy) he will put in tissue expanders (a half filled saline implant that will slowly be filled up every few weeks) then 3 months later, I will have another surgery to get the tissue expanders removed and the implants will go in. (Blog Update: My first surgery on the 25th will take about 5-6 hours total.) 

With all this being said, I can only testify that the Lord is doing His work in me and through me! I just can’t believe it. Your prayers are working!! Thank you so much for your continued support, sweet words, offering to help. I’m completely overwhelmed with your encouragement and so very thankful! 

Also, remember in my first email when I talked about God being in even the smallest details – for goodness sake, He KNOWS the number of hairs on our heads!! Here’s a pretty cool example- obviously not a big deal, but BIG to me because I know tis all God – the drug I will be taking – Tamoxifen – had been around for 40 years… which is perfect for me because I hate taking meds and I rarely do at all. I’m a worrier about side effects and just taking it in general. I have a huge peace of mind for taking this drug because its been around for so long with lots of research and well known side effects. It does carry some bad side effects and friends have told me of other friends who have had good and bad experiences with it, which I am very thankful for all of your input!! It has been so helpful!! With that being said, I am choosing to trust in the Lord that this is the right drug for me and hopefully the side effects won’t be too awful. 

Now for prayers… y’all the peace and calmness that I have had the past few days has been amazing! I know it is all from the Lord because I am always an anxious hot mess and I haven’t been, not even once this past week!! 

*For sleep – I cut out caffeine (and I’ve only had 1 headache for about 2 hours – only God y’all!!) and sleep at night is very restless, I start thinking about all of this (not really worrying but rather replaying it all in my mind) and I can’t sleep. I’m just exhausted. (Blog Update: sleep is still elusive at times, still just replaying the long list of “to-dos” and I know this week is going to be tough getting ready for surgery)
*For the right decision to be made about my double mastectomy – keep or not keep the nipple/areola, something I’ll discuss with my doctor, and that I’ll continue to feel at peace with the decision made. (Blog Update: I truly believe this is the right decision and I feel a 100% peace about it too.) 
*For the cancer to not spread before surgery (Blog Update: Please continue to pray – I am eating the best I can with vegan diet and just trying to stay overall healthy.) 

*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
*Having another baby – it our desire to have another baby in the future and it will be on hold for awhile, but I am praying that the right steps will be taken (freezing eggs or whatever we have to do) to be able to have a baby in the future. Now that chemo is not happening, this is a huge praise! I am not sure how/if/to what extent Tamoxifen will affect all of this, but I will find out Monday or Tuesday. (Blog Update: If I have chemo, we will have to discuss freezing my eggs, no chemo means that likely we will get to start trying to a baby in about 2 years – this is all somewhat speculation also because I will know more once I talk to my oncologist – about 3 weeks after my surgery.) 

Thank you so much for all of your prayers!! I am so very thankful!! 

All of you really are incredible!! 

Carly

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