Friday, August 17, 2012

Those dreaded words...

A month ago today, I heard those dreaded words...."the biopsies did come back as cancer", and life has been one storm after another ever since.  I'm striving to remember Psalms 46:10 - "Be still and know that I am God" at all times, but especially when I begin to get overwhelmed.

In that phone call, the doctor kept saying he was sorry and that he was surprised that it was cancer, but I  actually was not surprised. Besides the fact that there is a family history of breast cancer, I had just been feeling slightly off and more fatigued than seemed right with the rest of my health.   My life has been a bit stormy health wise for several years anyway, but we had finally figured out what was going on a year and a half ago. I was diagnosed then with chronic hyperventilation syndrome which finally tied in all of the crazy lung, nerve, and stomach problems.  After speech therapy that re-taught me how to breathe and talk,  I'd slowly gotten better and better.  My body's natural reaction to stress and/or various things was still to hyperventilate so I did have to be careful, but though I felt so much better, the fatigue seemed to stay the same or even get worse in the last few months.  I have had to really watch my breathing through all of this new cancer stress as I often catch myself breathing and speaking incorrectly.  

I had actually grown to be thankful for all of the craziness over the last two years because I did end up in a different, but probably better for my health, job and life situation, and I think that I have grown to be a stronger person physically, mentally, and spiritually.  When I first got this news, I did have a few thoughts of "why now, I've finally gotten so much better".   But then, I again began to realize how "good" this timing actually was: 
1)  I work primarily online now and should be able to continue doing some/ most of that through all of the treatment, and thankfully, people are covering the on-campus classes for me
2) My school district insurance ended on 6/30 and I first went to the doctor about a lump on 6/23. Thankfully, I had been able to get my own insurance policy through an organization that I belong to back in March.  I can't imagine having to deal with cobra and trying to find insurance now.  My policy is high deductible/high out-of-pocket, but it is so good compared to the alternative.
3) The previous illness taught me  how to communicate and be an advocate for myself with medical personnel along with providing me an internal strength.
4) As a silver lining to all of this, I'll get some quick weight loss and change to a smaller shirt size.  I much prefer thinking about it in this way. :)
5) Even though there are multiple masses, they believe that they are all small so it was still caught in an early stage hopefully.

Getting the actual surgery scheduled has been a storm in and of itself.  Originally, the doctor was going to do my surgery on 7/24, but with my weird history, I really wanted a 2nd opinion which that surgery date did not allow for.  I also had very mixed emotions about the plastic surgeon that I first saw so postponing gave me a chance to see a 2nd plastic surgeon as well.  After getting confirmation from Moffitt that they would do the same treatment, I decided to go with my original surgeon and  the 2nd plastic surgeon, and the surgery was pushed back to 8/2. The hospital canceled that surgery because it would have meant extending my surgeons' time in the operating room which they wouldn't agree to.  With a surgery that takes 2-3 hours for each surgeon, I think it might be a blessing in disguise to not be their 3rd or 4th surgery of the day, but that made me have to "hurry up and wait" some more. Both of my surgeons had some time out of town in August which pushed surgery back further, but the surgery is finally coming up on 8/23.  I know that it has really only been a month, but it feels like forever.   I will probably have to have chemo after that, but the path ahead is primarily based on what exactly they find in the actual surgery. 

   I am trying to rest assured in I Cor. 10: 13 that He is faithful and will not test me beyond what I am able.  I know that I will still have my moments of struggle, and that I will really need support of friends and family and prayers. There are many other things to consider in the upcoming months, but I hope to share my thoughts and keep you posted about what is going on here during that time.

Thanks for keeping me in your prayers!


  1. Much love Nancy. <3


  2. Nancy,

    I had not heard about your recent diagnosis but I love your attitude! Finding the blessings in the storms can be the hardest thing. Thanks for starting this blog so we can follow along with your journey and hopefully be an encouragement to you along the way.

    In Christian Love,

  3. Know that you are in our prayers often, especially as you go through surgery this coming week. We love you and will do anything we can to help as you recover and go through the coming days!

    Richard, Ashley, Reagan, and Sedona

  4. I am so glad you started this. Not only does it keep us updated, but trust me, it's a WONDERFUL outlet =)

    Thinking happy thoughts for the 23rd and praying every day!


  5. Janice Cude (Franklin C of C)August 21, 2012 at 7:43 PM


    I don't know you but I worship with your brother (David). He had given us your blog cite and told us about your upcoming surgery. I am glad to read your story and know more of what is going on and more of how to pray. I pray things go really well on the 23rd. I pray you will have a full recovery and that you will feel God's love and protection during the process.

  6. Georgia Barker ~ Franklin church of Christ

    Nancy, I don't know you either, but I also worship with David and Jenn. You have many prayers offered on your behalf daily. I *ditto* exactly what Janice said. Your surgery date was my Papa's birthday, so I hope it will be a good day for you.

    Your sister, ~Georgia, 3 John 2

  7. Keeping you in my daily prayers. Your attitude is one that we could all mimic. You are unbelievable and such a role model to all. It's going to be a bumpy road, but remember we are all here for you and want to help any way possible.

  8. Steve and Debbie MasonAugust 22, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    We have been following your situation through David and Jenn and please know that you are in our prayers always. Attitude is certainly a key here and yours is extraordinary. We will continue to pray for you and as you know that is a powerful medium. Love Steve and Debbie.

  9. Nancy, Having been down this road 8 years ago, I understand the overwhelming emotions that go with it. If I can help you in any way, I would be happy to. I know that your faith is strong. God will give you what you need each day. Praying for your comfort, peace and complete healing. With Love, Jeanne Culp

  10. Nancy,
    I had no idea of your health issues and the diagnosis of cancer. Your attitude seems amazing. I will remember you daily in my prayers. Praying for strength and healing for you!
    Love, Pippa Hunt

  11. We have talked a lot and I know you have come a long way. I know in a way how you feel when you struggle with something and don't know what it is. But with your surgery today, I truly believe you have caught it early and from all I hear that is key. There are so many of us praying for you and best of all, God is right there with you, for you. You take care and God bless you in this road you travel! your friend and sister in Christ, Barbara lamb

  12. I appreciate you sharing this with me Nancy and I wish I could be there to support you in person! Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers and I'll be pulling for you to have a speedy, full recovery! Your strength and attitude are insipiring!