So, I may have gotten a little excited this past week but good news is good news, right? I have beaten breast cancer but does that mean my journey is over? No . . . my “pathway to recovery” continues.
Forgive me if I thought my medical oncologist would look at me last Friday and say, “You beat it! You’re good to go!” Instead, she/they are going to closely monitor me as the highest risk for reoccurrence is within the first two years following treatment. In addition, since I carry the BRCA2 gene AND have a 1 in 10,000 mutation AND since I had breast cancer, in both breasts, I am at a slightly higher risk for melanoma. If you will remember, I had a melanoma removed in 2011, which was benign. I had two moles removed last spring, and they were benign. To that end, I have a history of melanoma, which creates even more concern.
I guess it is impossible for an oncologist to use the word “cure” since it implies, in this case, cancer would be gone forever. So, I suppose the best a doctor can do is say they can find no signs of cancer in your body at "that" time. Even though my surgeon told me he felt good he got it all, and there is no evidence, the fact remains there is always a chance some cancer cells are left in my body and survived. Even though I had chemo, there is still a chance.
I will be returning to the Cancer Treatment Center of America in Chicago sometime in May for an outpatient surgery, as well as meet with my gyno-oncologist and medical oncologist. They are trying to get a few things in check that are not in check at this time before scheduling me for my three month follow-ups.
So, when do we officially get to celebrate, popping the bubbly? Why not today! Today is a day of celebration! Yes, it is our seven month wedding anniversary, it is also a day of life, a day of hope. And when I say hope, I’m not talking about our wishy-washy maybes. In scripture, the word hope is an indication of certainty, meaning a “strong and confident expectation”. We have much to celebrate.
I praise God every day for the gift of breast cancer and how He’s by my side along our “pathway to recovery”. And for the many people, especially women, who He puts in my path every day, who bless me, I in turn desire to be a blessing to others. Even when the “waves are kicking me under”, (you guessed it! Stronger by Mandisa), I will continue to fight with all I have. I know God will continue to give me the fight within and the strength to face each day with gratitude, not fear or worry . . . making me stronger! Speaking of stronger, remember “our God is stronger, God You are higher than any other, Our God is Healer . . .” I love this song, “Our God” by Chris Tomlin. My God is healer. I have put my life in His hands and my faith and trust in Him. I desire to bring glory to God through all of my life, just not the good times, but in it all.
Before I left Friday, I asked my oncologist when do women celebrate their one year, five year, ten year, etc. survivorship? She said from the day they are diagnosed. Today is not July 30, nor was last Friday, but I don’t want to wait til then! Our "pathway to recovery" continues so let the celebration begin!