The first time I heard the words “cancer” it was not too shocking to me. Honestly, I always felt like I would get cancer. I have no idea why, but I’ve always known. I didn’t panic or even cry when we first found out. We knew that just because the tumor was malignant it meant lots of different things.
We prayed hard before that first surgery. Even inviting friends and our missional community group to pray for me at First Tuesday, which was the night before I went in. After the first surgery the surgeon gave us promising news. The tumor was clean and he felt certain he easily got it all. My leg looked healthy he said. Without saying it, he reassured us that this was the end of my cancer journey. That in 2-3 days we would get the results from my lymph node dissection back.
2-3 days came and went. I know that in the Dr world people say no news is good news, but this did NOT feel like good news. It was the Friday before Mother’s Day 2011 and I should have heard back by now. I called my surgeon and was told that the results were in, but he had to read them to me. And that he was in surgery all day, so they would leave him a message. Friday night came and still no news. I kept thinking to myself that it’s bad news, it has to be because he would have called with good news. He knows my story. He knows that I have 4 small kids at home (at the time we were fostering a baby girl) He knows that I would want to hear good news before celebrating Mother’s Day. He knows, which meant only one thing in my head. It had spread!
Monday evening we finally got the call. I remember having to go upstairs to even hear him, because the kids were playing loudly. My house is never quiet. I remember the way my Dr’s voice trembled a little bit. How he apologized and slowly explained that the cancer had spread. I had a fight ahead of me now.
I remember hanging up the phone and saying one thing in my head; “Jesus”. Nothing else, right then in that moment I could only think of one thing, my Savior and the only one in the world who I felt could understand what I was going through right that second. As horrible as it was finding out that the cancer had spread, the worst part for me was coming up. I had to go tell my husband. I didn't want to tell him. He was so certain that the cancer had NOT spread, that I was fine. I couldn't imagine anything worst than telling my best friend in the whole world. But I was calm and cool. I walked down stairs and caught his eye. I remember the kids all around us playing, but it seemed quiet. Tears were flowing now. I couldn't even get the words out. All I could do was nod my head. I’m sure Adam was confused wondering if it was a good head nod or a bad one. I finally found my voice and spilled out the words, “more cancer”. Then fell into his arms.
June 5th I had my second surgery to remove all the lymph nodes in my leg and repair a muscle that was compromised. And on August 1st we began infusion chemotherapy. 20 days of straight chemo was the goal, my body only let us get 17. September we started chemotherapy at home with shots. I’m currently doing chemo Monday, Wednesday, and Friday every week, the goal is 11 months on this chemo.
Cancer picked a fight with the wrong girl.
And the only way I'm going to win this fight is with my Jesus.
We had a head shaving party before cancer took my hair away. I've never had short hair, so we played with different styles.
Couldn't do it without this man by my side. He is my rock. Check out the letters he writes to me everyday: http://letterstojen.com/