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While waiting for the pathology report

While waiting for the pathology report I found myself in the middle of calm and anxiety.
Both were true. I was trusting in the process.
Trusting in the surgeon and praying for a direction to lean into.
About eight days after my surgery the nurse called and told me that I had great news.
The surgeon felt the cancer was fully removed during the biopsy process.
The margins around my surgery site were clean. The pathology report clean.
I had no further need for more surgery and no chemo.
I would be continuing the plan for radiation just to be sure the cells are gone.
I guess this is preventative and I will also see a oncologist for some medication advise.
This is all good news.
Did that mean I was cancer free?
What a circle of feelings to go from a positive reading to now a clean margin, in just a few weeks.
I am amazed, thankful and praise God for so much prayers and for this experience.
Yes, it’s been a new adventure. One that I could never have imagined.
Any time you do a medical process so much is layered into the experience.
Concerns, worries, fatigue and fear.
I will forever be a cancer survivor and I say that with a knowing; that I was given this so I can share with others.
My experience is not like others. Some who I know have had double mastectomies. Some have had reconstruction.
It is a very individual and unique experience for each patient.
I cannot say I am totally done with this process. Not for five years. That is the plan.
But in five years I will be seventy years old and the life that is given to me will be full of praise and thanksgiving.
Throughout my life I have survived many things, and this is one more for the book.
While waiting for the pathology report, I learned to lean in and trust deeper.

Tuesday the 7th was my surgery day

Tuesday the 7th was my surgery day.
I woke up early, preparing my mind for what was going to take place.
It is always a bit surreal when you know you are going to the hospital and you will be having surgery.
Life as you know it, will change. It will be different. It will be a new chapter.
I was very calm. Not afraid.
In fact when the anesthesiologist asked me what I was fearing the most, I said, “The nausea.”
I get very sick with the drugs they give you to go to sleep.
The guy heard me and said, “Ok we will take care of this for you.”
We were running a bit late on the agenda; I had to go to mammography and get a guide wire placed using the mammography machine.
That was a bit uncomfortable but all in all it went smooth. Then I was wheeled into the surgery room.
I don’t remember much after that the anesthesia guy gave me a shot in my IV and I took a nice nap.
In the recovery room they had to wake me up; I guess it took a bit longer for me to come back from a deep sleep.
Then I was wheeled into my ‘day surgery’ room.
They gave me some cheese as I had not eaten for well over 14 hours and I was hungry and needing a snack.
After a few hours I was able to get my regular clothes on and head home.
It has been a slow recovery, the incision was 4-5 inches and glued shut.
I am actually doing very well.
I am SO relieved and SO thankful I had no nausea. NOT one moment.
They had put a patch behind my ear, and they were very proactive with medications.
I sense my fatigue but that is normal for a surgery patient and I am being very careful not to use my right side.
I see the doctor on the 20th and not long after that I will begin my radiation journey.
Every day for four to six weeks.
This is not the way I would have wanted to begin my new 2020 new year but God is in this and I am not scared.
This journey will be a new chapter for me and I will be open and willing to do what needs to be done.

A new year ahead of us with a new diagnosis

A new year ahead of us with a new diagnosis.
The month of December arrived as normal, getting ready for Christmas and all the holiday cheer.
I had a mammogram scheduled at the hospital and our radiology department has the new ‘3d’ machine.
It is much more accurate and detailed and I was very happy about it.
They had me coming in every six months for what is called calcifications, and they were watching them closely.
A normal mammogram takes about fifteen minutes. Then they send you home.
I was in there over an hour, they needed more views, more detail, more pictures.
Then I was moved into the ultrasound room.
By this time I asked them to tell my husband I was ok; as he was in the waiting room.
After the ultrasound the tech told me I needed to speak to the radiologist.
By that time again I asked them to get my husband and bring him back to the room.
So the radiologist spoke to us and told us he was concerned about an area and suggested a biopsy.
That was scheduled a few days later and I had it done.
That was a very interesting procedure. (IN the mammogram room.)
They had given me a valium for the biopsy as it was a bit scary and uncomfortable.
After the biopsy I had a MRI on both sides which is a very interesting experience.
We waited from Thursday to Monday for the final call.
When the phone rang I knew it was the doctors office telling me; I had what they called, “ductal carcinoma.”
Breast cancer. I listened to her and took notes. I remained very calm.
It is not a death sentence, it can be removed. I will trust the surgeon.
We met with the surgeon two times and she told us this is the best kind to get.
It is isolated and encapsulated within the duct.
Surgery will be a lumpectomy and then I won’t have to have chemo but I will have radiation.
Every day for four to six weeks.
It is a hard diagnosis but I have been at peace. I have not been scared or worried.
It could be way worse so I am thankful we caught it before it had a chance to grow and spread.
My recovery shouldn’t be too horrible. Just stitches to heal.
Maybe some residual burn from the radiation.
I am on a five year plan, I have a nurse, surgeon and cancer doctor.
My word of the year is REST and that is what I plan on doing.

The end of an era and a new year is ahead

The end of an era and a new year is ahead of us.
2019 will come to a close, I will most likely be sleeping at 12:00 am.
We rarely stay up late and party till the last moments.
It’s just not our style. I may have a glass of wine to ring in the new year.
That is acceptable and ok.
It will be a new year for us; in our new little home that we moved into in April of this year.
It was a fast good move, one we have not really regretted.
We find ourselves liking the single story tiny home feel.
I know it was for a purpose and we had a lot of peace in the decision.
It always felt like it was for a reason but I couldn’t figure out ‘how or why’.
I do know now.
I also lost my sister Mary in June. Of all the years to lose her after battling her ‘demons’ for many years.
Her health was struggling and it really was time for her to leave.
We have some health challenges ahead of us and we will push through those with great determination.
We trust in this process and we trust in the God who gives us strength through it all.
The year 2020 will bring new lessons to learn and new experiences to feel.
It will be good. It will be hard and challenging but nothing happens without a reason.
And I believe He gives us strength to match the challenges given.
I am sure we will be ok.
The end of an era is not a negative it is a good start for us.
I am trusting and I am believing for good things.
The end of an era and a new year is ahead of us.
May we step into it with open arms and receiving hearts.

The birth of Jesus was well orchestrated with many different characters

The birth of Jesus was well orchestrated with many different characters.
Each had a role given to them for the specific purpose with in the story.
Beginning with Mary, and the Angel Gabriel, then Joseph, Elizabeth (and even baby John), and Zechariah.
Then we find, the Shepherds out in the field and more angels greeting them with song and Gabriel again.
Then we find Simeon and Anna in the temple, who had waited many years for this very special moment.
Then we also add in Herod who was an angry man tricking the Wisemen.
Then we add the Wisemen who traveled to see Mary and Joseph.
I think I would also add the donkey; who went with Mary and Joseph and helped with the journey.
Remembering that the donkey brought her to his birth, the donkey also brought him later to his death.
Scripture had to be fulfilled.
Each character had to do their part; not too different than in the story of his death.
Each one played a role, and each one was needed.
There were many others in the verses that I read, but these were the key players who formed the beautiful story.
As we sing, Oh little town of Bethlehem; we visualize ‘our picture’ based on Christmas cards of nativity scenes.
We love to sing silent night, Holy Night, All is calm… all is bright.
But really it wasn’t.
Yes it was a Holy night, but it was dim and probably not well lighted with anything but a lantern.
I love the Song, Sweet little Jesus boy, for it says, “We didn’t know who you were.”
I believe that to be true. No one expected a Savior to come the way HE did.
Even Mary might not have fully understood the baby she gave birth to, was the Holy One.
Too much to take in, too much to think on.
I think a lot about Mary, so young and alone maybe only having Joseph with her.
I think of Joseph with a huge responsibility put upon Him; because God saw that HE could do it and He knew his heart was right.
We hear very little about him after Jesus was born. I wonder so much about him.
I am sure he stayed with Mary and they had other children; but did they ever talk about this
special Holy Birth?
The birth of Jesus was well orchestrated with many different characters.
May we read with a new awareness of all that it took, for this baby to bring Hope to a very dark world.

The wisemen were the next ones to arrive on the scene

The wise men were the next ones to arrive on the scene with Mary and Joseph.
We often see the manger story with them near the manger; where Mary had the baby, that is actually not accurate.
In Matthew 2 we find a different kind of story.
vs 2: About that time (when Jesus was born) some wise men (or maji) from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star (or star in the east) as it rose, and we have come to worship him.”
King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was the whole land.
He called a meeting leading priest and teachers of the law and asked,
“Where is this Messiah supposed to be born?”
“In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote: vs 6b “a ruler will come from you O Bethlehem, who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.”
“Then Herod told the wise men to go to Bethlehem and search for him, come back and tell me so I can worship him too.”
vs 9: After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star in the east guided them to Bethlehem.
It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was.
When they saw the star they were filled with joy!
They entered the house [notice it is not a manger scene] and saw the child with Mary his mother, and they bowed down and worshiped him.
Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gold, frankincense and myrrh.
When it was time to leave, they returned to their own country by another route, for God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.
vs 13: After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream.
“Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said, “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother and stayed there until Herod’s death.
[I don’t know how long that was for them but it was very important for them to stay away as long as possible.]
The wise men were the next ones in the story, to complete the cast of characters surrounding the birth of Jesus.