Wednesday, December 12, 2018

TRUST #45: Cancer "Processing Mode"


I'm posting another TRUST post today instead of on Sunday, because I have information to share that I know many of you have been waiting to hear.

I finally had a consultation yesterday with my Oncologist.
 
Here are the facts:
  1. This is a NEW cancer, totally unrelated to my first cancer from 6 years ago.
  2. The cancer is Stage 0 - which means it is currently non-invasive. (This is good news because my first cancer was stage 2.)
  3. The cancer is High Grade - which means it started growing quickly, and will continue growing quickly. So, even though it is currently Stage 0 (non-invasive), it could quickly change into invasive if it is not removed. 
  4. The cancer is 97% Estrogen Positive, which means Estrogen is what is making it grow.
  5. The cancer is also 1% Progesterone Positive.
  6. The best course of action is a mastectomy. I will be seeing my surgeon for a consultation on December 20th. 
  7. I will not be needing any kind of bone scans or PET scans before surgery. I will not need to have them done at all, unless the pathology report after surgery contains new information that would require more testing. 
  8. I have been taking Tamoxifen for the past 5 1/2 years in order to block the estrogen my body makes. If I had not been taking it, this new cancer might have happened a lot sooner than it did. However, it is apparently not working on me as effectively as it should. So, my doctor told me to stop taking it.
  9. After my surgery, I will begin taking a different medication (I don't know the name of it yet) that should hopefully be more effective.
  10. If all goes as planned, and they don't find any "surprises" in my pathology report, I will not need chemo or radiation treatments.

How is this affecting me?
  • I'm experiencing what you might call "processing mode." I have received all the information, and now I am working through different thoughts and emotions. Even though I have had cancer before, its not any easier this time around.
  • I am so thankful this cancer was caught early. Things could be much worse!
  • At the same time, I'm feeling a bit "down"about needing to go through another mastectomy. 
  • I am also wondering what is making ME so prone to this type of cancer, especially since I have no family history of it. (My dad had prostate cancer, but that's not quite the same). I want answers, but the answers may not be revealed in my lifetime. 
  • Through it all, I'm still TRUSTING in God's plans for my life, and I know He will be there to help me and my family through this.


Sunday, December 9, 2018

TRUST #44: Trusting God to Supply All Our Needs


I have told this story before, but felt it was worth repeating . . .

When I was a young girl around the age of 5, my family lived in Minnesota while my parents were serving with CEF (Child Evangelism Fellowship). They were doing deputation work (appointed to represent the ministries of CEF to others) and did not receive a regular paycheck. Their income was provided by the support of other Christians, and some weeks were financially leaner than others.

During one of our leanest weeks, there was a period of about 4 days when our cupboards were almost bare; but, through faith, God supplied for my family’s needs in miraculous ways.

On day one, we all sat down for supper and were getting ready to eat what was left in our cupboards - some crackers with butter on them (and my sister thinks there might have been a little bit of popcorn as well). We all held hands and Dad prayed, just like we always did before a meal, thanking God for what we had, and also asking Him to provide for our needs. Then, my brother remembers Dad telling us to enjoy our meal, because we didn’t know when or where we would be eating the next one. Soon after that, there was a knock on the door. No one was there. However, a sack of groceries was left anonymously. We were all so excited to see how God had provided for our needs. We had enough food for a good meal that night, as well as some leftovers for breakfast the next morning.

Day 2 - At breakfast, we all prayed again before us three kids left for school, asking God, in faith, to provide for our needs. Later that afternoon, some friends of ours called and said they had made too much supper, so they asked us to come over and join them. Of course, we said yes, and had a nice meal with our friends that night.

Day 3 - We all prayed again before leaving for school. That afternoon, my brother and sister received a small check for a paper route job they had. It was maybe around $6.00, which was worth a lot more 40 years ago than it is now. My dad gave the check to them and asked what they wanted to do with it. They said, “Let’s go to McDonald’s!” So, that was our meal for that night.

Day 4 - I don't remember it, but I’m sure we all prayed again that morning. Later that day, an income check finally arrived. It was enough to provide for our family’s needs for the rest of the month.

God is good, and we can always TRUST in the fact that He has promised to supply all the needs of His children. Not always what we WANT, but exactly what we NEED (both physically and spiritually).

Sunday, December 2, 2018

TRUST #43: The Biopsy Results


One week after my biopsy, a call finally came in from Dr. B. It was a Tuesday evening, around 7:15 p.m. The caller ID showed who it was, so we knew it my doctor. [Yes! Finally!] David and I quickly left the room and put the phone on speaker so we could both hear. The conversation went something like this:
ME: Hello?
Dr. B: Is this Victoria?
ME: Yes it is.
Dr. B: Have I caught you at a bad time?
ME: Ummm, no, now is fine. [I had been watching a new episode of "The Flash" with my family, and we were getting ready to eat ice cream like we always do on Tuesday nights, but this phone call was definitely more important than that.]
Dr. B: Ok. Well, I told you I would call you with your biopsy results.
ME: Yes.
Dr. B: It is not invasive cancer, which is good. However, you do have sort of like "pre-cancer" cells.
ME: Is this what you would call DCIS? [DCIS = Ductal Carcinoma in Situ - a non-invasive form of cancer contained in the milk ducts].
Dr. B: Yes. That is what it is.
ME: Ok. I had that extensively on my other side, along with an invasive tumor. So, I know what that is.
Dr. B: I am at home right now and don't have your file. How long ago was that?
ME: Six years ago.
Dr. B: Ok. I will give your Oncologist a call tomorrow, and will look at your history a little more closely. Then, we will determine what to do next.
ME: Ok. That sounds fine.
Dr. B: You might be okay with just a lumpectomy, but I will know more after discussing with your Oncologist. But, we don't want to wait around too long on this, as it has a potential to change quickly.
ME: I understand.
Dr. B: Ok, then. I will talk to you soon.
ME: Thank you for your call.
We hung up the phone and David gave me a hug. We were not surprised by the news, but it was not what we were hoping for either. At least, there isn't any invasive cancer, so we are very grateful for that.

Unfortunately, I will be facing another surgery, and I am not worried or scared about it; but, to be honest, I just don't want to go through this again! Surgery is painful, and inconveniencing, especially during this time of year.

But . . . if that is the best option, then I will accept it. And, I will continue to TRUST in a loving God who will be with me through it all. He is my refuge and my strength.

I now have a consultation scheduled with my Oncologist for December 11th. We will know more about my case at that appointment.