“It’s Cancer”

Two words you never expect to hear, and definitely not at age 35.

April 21, 2015

It was a Tuesday.  The day before, I had my first mammogram, then an ultrasound, then a biopsy of three areas of “concern” in my right breast.   As I picked up my cell phone, I knew that what I learned from the other end could potentially change my life forever.

“It’s Cancer”.

In the moments after I put the phone down, all I could think of was my three precious children and husband.

In those moments, cancer went from a terrible disease that happened to other people, to a world-rocking diagnosis that could possibly leave my children motherless and my husband a single dad of three young children.

Later that week, I would learn that my “Her-2 Positive” type of Breast Cancer was highly aggressive, and had already spread to my lymph nodes.

Over the next year, I would walk through 18 weeks of chemo, and chemo’s horrific side effects.   Hair loss.  Complete loss  of strength.  A blood transfusion.  3 surgeries.  34 radiation treatments.  Chronic Fatigue.  I’ve shed many tears, but more importantly seen God’s abounding grace.

During my cancer journey, I felt so called to share my journey through a blog, “His Grace Abounds”.  As my world was crashing down around me after hearing “It’s Cancer”, I had to cling to the truth that “His grace would abound in deepest waters.”

In May 2016, after a grueling year of treatment, we rejoiced as scans came back completely clear!

In December of 2016, after some abnormal changes to my breast tissue, I was diagnosed with a recurrence of breast cancer. Initially I was diagnosed with IBC (Inflammatory Breast Cancer), but got a second opinion at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston discovered it was NOT IBC, but a slightly different form of the original cancer. We also found out in January 2017 that it had spread to my sternum, making it Stage IV.

During 2017 I had 8 more rounds of the most aggressive chemo, a mastectomy and lymph node removal, and 7 weeks of radiation. I spent 10 weeks in Houston, away from my family for treatment.

In December 2017, we found out that the cancer had recurred once again, this time in my left lymph nodes, and small spots were also detected in my lungs.

Currently (as of June 2018), I am on an oral chemo, Xeloda, and will be on some form of treatment indefinitely. My most recent scans (April 2018) were “better than expected”~ no cancer was even detected!

My next set of scans is July 17, 2018 in Houston.   For recent news, please visit my “cancer updates” page.  We are grateful for your prayers as we walk by faith, and not by sight!

Sample Posts & Timeline from “His Grace Abounds”

Diagnosis & “His Grace Abounds”  – April, 2015

Preparing for Treatments – May, 2015

Anticipating Hair Loss

First Chemo Treatment

After Chemo #1

Chemo Side Effects & Glimmers of Grace

God’s Goodness

Chemo #2 & Shaving my Head – June, 2015

Letter to my Love

Middle of the Marathon

After Chemo #3 – July, 2015

Chemo #4 & 5 – August, 2015

“No ‘Mo’ Chemo!” – September, 2015

Surgery Recap – October, 2015

Pathology Results after Surgery

It is Well

Surgery #2–  December, 2015

2015 Gratitude– January, 2016

Final Stretch

Radiation Update– February, 2016

Radiation Routine

Gratitude as a Pathway to Joy – March, 2016

The Winter Year – April, 2016

No Evidence of Disease & New Season – July, 2016

A New “Divine Adventure” – (2nd cancer diagnosis) December, 2016