Great News! Today the surgeon called with some test results. The PET scan showed that the cancer has not spread to any additional areas. It remains in the breast tissue and the lymph nodes that are connected to it. Additionally, the blood test to see if I'm genetically inclined to breast cancer (meaning it could come back easily, and that my sisters and daughters would also be at risk) also came back negative. So, we were very thankful and relieved that our starting point for beating this cancer is much less complicated that it could be. Today is the MRI. Wednesday we meet with the oncologist to learn about options for kicking this cancer. It's an aggressive, fast growing cancer, but it should respond well to treatment. We're hoping to start chemo Friday or Monday, to shrink it down before surgery. But we'll know more after Wednesday.
I've been so blessed by the advice of friends who have beaten breast cancer, as well as friends who are experts in the cancer field. I've been reading a lot and learning more about breast cancer and treatment options. A dear friend sent a request to her local survivors group for recommendations and reviews on their doctors, resulting in numerous testimonials about doctors in the Indy area for surgery, chemo, and radiation. My sister sent a package filled with a variety of scarves and big earrings, including some scarves from her world travels--the kinds of things that gave my aunt a lift when she was fighting breast cancer. A friend ran in the Komen race with my name on the back of her shirt. I've been so uplifted by wonderful email, FB, text, notes, & letters of love and encouragement. The prayers for strength and comfort are so strongly felt.
Yesterday morning, I was letting myself worry a bit. I was thinking, "faith and fear CAN co-exist." I went for a run, which is always therapeutic, and listened to a talk from the recent LDS General Conference that held the message I needed to hear. "Our strength to endure faithfully depends upon recognizing, remembering, and holding sacred that which we receive from above." It talked about the importance of both secular and spiritual aspects in our lives, stressing that we need to prioritize and focus on the spiritual first. It also talked about the importance of recognizing, then writing down, the tender mercies we experience in our lives. I have received blessings from above, and know that I'll conquer this obstacle. It will happen with the help and support of my Savior and my wonderful family and friends. I'm so blessed by the prayers and words of support from so many. Thank you!
Here's a link if you'd like to read or listen to the talk that was a tender mercy to me yesterday morning: "To Hold Sacred," by Paul Pieper, http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2012/04/to-hold-sacred?lang=eng