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Waiting and Knowing.

The waiting period for getting the last test result in was hard. I waited for 6 weeks, should have been 12-14 days, but I know that the delay was not by chance. The Lord truly had His hand in all of this.
Deuteronomy 31:8 – The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Exhibit A- Waiting for my onocotype score was tough, but I knew God was working in the waiting! My Oncotype result number is 14… aka super low! The scale is from 0-100 and 14 puts me in the low risk of reoccurrence category. Also for reference, a score of 25-30 means you need chemo. I’m SO MUCH lower than that number. So amazing! BUT, what is even better? The Lord’s way of putting me at peace before I even received the news last Tuesday. I’ve had the number 14 in my head for weeks. We’ve been waiting for this Oncotype result since it should have been in on May 15th which it wasn’t and I am so thankful because I would have been prepared then and since then I have felt “something” aka the Lord and just had this feeling that it was surely going to be 14. Did I want it to be even lower? Sure! I certainly prayed for it to be, but I just knew that it would be 14 and low and behold it is and I feel so good about it!

Exhibit B – research… YALL. God is continuing to reveal to me His absolutely perfect timing through my whole situation. It’s pretty dang amazing! Listen up, this is GOOD! So my test results were delayed meaning oncologist appointment is delayed meaning worries and stress and more reading and constant research drastically increased on my part. SO STRESSFUL, it’s been hard- the waiting is always the hardest part. The more I read the more I get overwhelmed… until the last 2-3 days. A huge study came out just in the last week about pregnancy after breast cancer, this is HUGE! You can’t really find ANY hard evidence or research on this topic, AT ALL! There’s lots of speculations and discussion, but no real “proof” (especially by dr standards) until now. Seriously just what I needed to have in my research back pocket for my oncologist appointment today. God’s timing, again SO VERY PERFECT! Just when I try doing this all on my own, He steps in and says nope Carly, remember I’ve got this. Here’s some proof. How… how in the world can you doubt there’s a God with this kind of proof?!? This is not coincidence friends, sure anyone could argue that is, it’s not and that’s just the enemy trying to tell you otherwise! It’s all God and He is certainly worthy of all the praise for it! (PS my oncologist even mentioned the study today during our appt without me even bringing it up… this is huge for women with breast cancer!!! So so happy!!)

Now, I can’t not mention the other factor in the study that has not yet been determined and that is the biggest risk that we may be taking with my diagnosis. It’s deciding whether to take hormonal therapy (Tamoxifen) for awhile sometime between 10-24 months and then try for a baby OR not starting it, getting pregnant and starting post baby, or just not taking it at all (depends on the risk and percentages)

Now for treatment…

I have two options, start taking Tamoxifen right after my second implant surgery (Beginning of August) and wait two years get off of it to have a baby, then get back on for another 8 years OR delay Tamoxifen, start trying for a baby after surgery and then get on Tamoxifen right after baby is born.

Factors are:
-what if it takes awhile to get pregnant, that’s just delaying time I could be taking treatment
-there is no way to test for cancer reoccurrence when I’m pregnant or when I’m not, basically you just have to hope and pray and trust the Lord a whole lot!
-with Tamoxifen for the next 10 years my percentage of cancer reoccurrence is 9%… that means theres a 91% chance that cancer will not come back anywhere in my body, if I were to not take Tamoxifen at all my % would be 20% reoccurrence in the next 10 years. I think those are pretty encouraging scores to think even if I did wait another year to start it, it may be higher than 9% but not as high as 20%… that’s also not including how drastically my diet and lifestyle has changed since I’ve been diagnosed- cancer can’t survive in the healthy, alkaline body I’ve created!! 😉

With all that being said, we don’t really have a for sure answer for what I’m going to do. I would be crazy to say that I’m not leaning towards having a baby now, but at the same time Steven and I feel like we need to sit with these options and pray about this for the next week or so until we really feel a peace about a decision.

Now, about my oncologist. It has been a long, stressful and emotional time getting to today, but today’s appointment could not have gone any better if I tried!! My surgeon recommended this oncologist for me because she said he is straightforward, but also willing to listen and figure out what is best for me. That’s exactly what he did! I even cried a few times in our appointment today of happy tears knowing the Lord truly went before me today and claimed all my worries and fears. I kept saying how much of an answered prayer my oncologist was because I was so afraid I would walk in and he would be stern with me wanting me to do the recommended treatment without being open to other options, he was the opposite of everything I built up in my head! He even gave me his “blessing” for lack of a better word that if I felt like I wanted to have a baby now and delay Tamoxifen then he would be ok with it. I literally couldn’t believe it. He did warn me that the “experts” wouldn’t make this recommendation, but he would be ok with it given my low risk numbers.  He also assured me that if he felt like it wasn’t a good idea he would say so, but in my case he thinks I’ll be ok.

Now to sit with this new information and pray and make a decision for what’s next. Please pray for Steven and I in whatever decision we decide on that we will have peace with that decision and feel confident that it is the right one. Thank you so much for your encouragement and prayers through this journey so far. Today was a much anticipated day and I am so very thankful that it went beyond better than I could have ever expected!!
A few hours after writing the above info…

One minute I have great news that really seems promising, then a few hours later I am sitting here overwhelmed with the finality(is that even a word??) of all the information I have received. This is it. All my test results are back and I have options, we know what treatment will look like. This is it and I’m just scared. So scared. I know that this is when I need to lean into God more. Allow the Holy Spirit to take over because I simply can’t do this myself.
Recently in a bible study I just finished with my small group by Jennie Allen called Restless, she talks about how we can’t know everything or be given the answer to everything. The unknowns of our lives are what requires us to lean deeper into God and take comfort in trusting Him. … here’s her actual words from the study book (pgs. 164-165)
“This is a journey that God put into motion, and he knows us well enough to know that he needs to tether us to himself with the unknowns. We get all independent with what we think we know. This is why he doesn’t write in the sky, even if he could. This is why we still ache a little even when we are running wild with God’s purpose for us. He wants us holding on and running with him.”
We need God, in the good, the bad, the unsure, the mountaintops, the valleys… life is constantly changing. We need him through it all whether we know it or not and He’s right there waiting for us. So patient and willing to step in and do it all for us. I must trust. I must have faith, I absolutely must not lose hope. Preaching to myself here. Now if only I can remember this when times get rough like tonight. I know this is not an easy journey. Cancer really sucks. I hate it. BUT, I have to rise above that and remember WHOSE I am and that this is not my home.
I feel better now, just needed to get all of that out.

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