Here is the 5th email…
Hi friends and family!
I just got back from an amazing weekend in Texas with my friend, Malloree. Last year, this same weekend, we went to Vegas for the weekend and this year it was a women’s conference (Sparrow Conference) at a church in Dallas and it was so wonderful! We had almost two solid days of kid-free girl time and some Jesus worship and teaching, it was much needed!
Surgery. It’s on Tuesday, April 25th in Atlanta. I’ll likely be the hospital for one night, maybe two. Surgery is at 10AM and will last for 5-6 hours.
Genetic testing: it came back, early!! (The Lord continues to provide, He knows my anxious heart way too well.) ALL of the 28 genes that were tested came back NEGATIVE!!! Praise God!!! This is great news that NOT EVEN ONE gene was positive!! However, this does not change my decision to not get a bi-lateral (double) masectomy. If there were any positives they would have highly recommended a double mastectomy, but I’ve already made the decision and feel at peace about getting the double mastectomy even though we are now certain my genes are all negative.
-Diet: Continued perseverance for eating an organic (mostly) vegan diet (no meat or diary) also cutting out caffeine and sugar also. I’m doing this to help the cancer not spread anymore than possible before my surgery. Thankfully, it’s been somewhat easy and I really enjoy cooking so it’s been fun to experiment with new foods! With that being said, I bought a juicer and haven’t been successful with a good recipe. If you have any juicing recipes that have mostly vegetables, send them my way!!! (Blog Update: Vegan diet is really going well, I love to cook so its fun to experiment… still need help with the juicer… calling all recipes????)
-Surgery: I think about it constantly, the details about surgery as well as recovering after are in constant replay in my head and while I know it will be hard, that is just the reality and I just can’t stop thinking about it. Also, how it will change my life for the next few months. I won’t be able to pick up John for 4-6 weeks and the first 2-3 weeks I won’t be able to do much at all and I’ll have drains in that will be a huge nuisance in every aspect. I’m a very light sleeper and I’ve got to learn to sleep on my back. So, just please pray for my thoughts to be quieted for now. I feel very confident that I have made the right decision, but that doesn’t take away the scariness of it. I’ve never been hospitalized for anything other than having John… and we were in the hospital for 24 hours and went home immediately at 24 hours! (Blog update: please continue to pray as it gets closer… a more specific surgery related post will be coming soon.)
-Chemo and Post-surgery Pathology Report: my Her2 was 0% negative which is good and was the determining factor for me not having to have chemo, BUT there is still a chance for the cancer to spread and chemo could be possible. Please continue to pray that my cancer stays put and does move beyond my breast to my lymph nodes between now and April 25. After my surgery, we will get another pathology report (3-5 days after surgery) telling if all the cancer was removed and if it had spread. I will also get an Oncotype report, about a week later, that will tell my likelihood of the cancer returning in the future. Crazy what they can find out and know these days about cancer!
-Emotionally dealing with “having cancer” like I explained earlier. I know I’ve got this, I know I have to be positive, I KNOW all of this right? BUT some days just are hard. Continued prayers for me to not dwell in the dark places and to not give the enemy a way into my mind to take up residence. I will not allow it.
-Future baby: If I do not have to have chemo then I will likely be on a medicine (Tamoxifen) for 2 years, then get off of it to get pregnant, then get back on it once we’ve had a baby. (This is all somewhat speculation with my Dr. Ultimately, I’ll discuss this with my oncologist and more specific answers will be given. – prayers for the oncologist to be a right fight for me as my doctor!) There are so many facets to this request that I don’t even know where to start, but first the constant dilemma in my head is I am so thankful that we caught this cancer so very early and sad at the same time that I have to wait at the minimum of 2 years to try to have another baby. I try not to think about it and I’m so thankful for John and him being in such a super fun age right now and so stinkin adorable that it makes things so much better. I know I’m young, I know in the grand scheme of things 2 more years is NOT THAT LONG, but the longing for another baby is pulling at my heart makes it so hard! Also, if chemo gets put back on the table after surgery then I’ll have to have my eggs frozen because chemo could make me infertile. BUT let’s not think about that right now because we’re praying for no chemo!!
*One more update- My ob/gyn Dr just called and said that I need to have a Leep procedure done… requires me going under general anesthesia. I’m so sick of being poked and prodded. I’m having this done because this is the second abnormal Pap smear to come back in 6 months. Apparently she will remove some of my cervix, but not enough to cause me to not be able to have any more babies. Help, I dont even know what any of this means. If anyone has had this done, please talk to me about it. Just one more thing to think and worry about. It’ll likely be on the 21st, which is a few days before my mastectomy surgery. (Blog update: So many people have reached out to tell me that the Leep Procedure is a piece of cake… a little uncomfortable but not so bad… thank goodness! Also, Keep Procedure was postponed to May 12th, still nervous, hopefully its not anything to worry about!!)
Last thing, this past weekend was amazing! We studies the whole book of James and I learned so much. What stood out to me most was the last few verses: James 5:13-18… the section is “labeled” The Prayer of Faith. It talks about what to do when someone among you is sick… call the elders of the church, pray over them, anoint them with oil, in the name of the Lord. We actually did this at my old church with my mom when she was sick 18 years ago. I’ve always read this and taken it literal since then because we did exactly what it said in James to do.
Now, nothing about what she did was wrong, but I never knew until this past weekend that these verses have much more meaning than the literal sense! If you take it literally, verse 15 says “And their prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make them well and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. Verse 16 goes on… “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.”
So, are these verses just about physical healing, nope! Is prayer part of the healing process? Absolutely! V.15 starts with their prayer offered IN FAITH… When you pray, you must have faith that the Lord will do His will. We can petition Him to heal. Our faith will not heal (even though we must have it), but He can. Thanks be to God that He sent his Son so that we can go directly to Him for forgiveness. These verses are about a prayer of salvation. That we will all ultimately be healed and the Lord will raise us up on the last day.
*These are just a few of my thoughts and I have so many more but I’m tired. These verses fascinate me! I’m reading a book by Tozer called Prayer so maybe I’ll have more thoughts and insight soon, but basically it boils down to the idea that we need to call on God IN FAITH! What does it mean to have faith, glad you asked! 😉
In Hebrews 11 it says “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen.” There’s two parts of this: believing that God IS who he says he is!! AND that He WILL do what he says he will do. From my study bible: when we believe that God will fulfill his promises even though we don’t see those promises materializing yet (YET!! It may not happen until the day of Judgment, when he comes back and that’s OK!), we demonstrate true faith. (Look at John 20:24-31) We haven’t seen, but we must have faith! I have faith that my God is doing His GOOD work IN and THROUGH me!! Don’t forget my verse in John 9:3- it was not because of his sins or his parents sins,” Jesus answered. “He was born blind so that the power of God could be seen in him.”
My prayer is that God’s power is being seen in me by others. He is worthy of all the praise, in every single way, REGARDLESS of my current circumstance or yours, or anyone else’s. Especially NOW when “something else” needs to be done or some other procedure or whatever. I’m over it really, but I know He IS worthy.
Jesus changes EVERYTHING!
I’ll add this link again if you need to listen to the song… so very powerful!! Holy Ground By: Passion Band
Love you all!! Carly