My Journey through Breast Cancer

On October 11, 2013, I was diagnosed with Stage II Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) ... or as we like to call it, extreme measures for a nap (EMFN). For a while, this blog will be my cancer journal. Enter at your own risk.

13 October 2013

the avocado saved my life

Back in May I gave birth to our third child, a beautiful daughter named Eowyn. As can be common, I breastfed her from the beginning. She took to it like a champ and started gaining weight like a ... well, like a very well-fed baby (at two months she weighed in the 98th percentile!). About two months after she was born I noticed a lump develop in my left breast. I didn't take much note of it because I was absolutely sure it was breastfeeding related. As it didn't get worse, or better, I began to second guess my initial diagnosis of clogged milk duct or mastitis, but I still didn't do anything about it.

And then ... the avocado incident. About six weeks ago, while cutting up an avocado to go on my delicious salad I was making for lunch, I punched right through the avocado and stabbed my hand with a very sharp, very new, Cutco knife. Blood started spurting everywhere, and I discovered I'm actually quite cool in a crisis. The incident landed me in the ER, and left me with three stitches at the base of my middle finger and limited use of my left hand for two weeks. I was also required to go see a doctor 10 days later to make sure it was healing well and to have the stitches removed.

While I was there, I figured I might as well have the doc check out this mysterious lump. I actually almost forgot to have him check, I was that sure it was nothing. But, after examining me, he recommended an ultrasound and mammogram to get more information. And so it began ...

The following week I had the ultrasound and mammogram, and then a couple days later I saw the specialist. She explained to me that everything looked a little wonky and warranted more tests. Even though I was still sure everyone was overreacting to a clogged milk duct, I dutifully went in for the MRI and the somewhat painful needle biopsy. Even after all this, you couldn't convince me that breast cancer was a real possibility. I don't know if that makes me naive, or just an eternal optimist. I prefer optimist.

Well, Caleb and I met with the doc on Friday (just two days ago), and she confirmed the worst. I have breast cancer. Stage IIA, meaning its only slightly worse than Stage I. I'm still reeling a bit, processing what it all means, and what it all implies. I have a whack of doctor's appointments and tests and medications and procedures ahead of me. Its completely overwhelming. I can't even categorize my feelings very well yet, there are so many of them.

There are some truths to hold on to though. First, God is still sovereign, He is still good, and He still loves me and my family immensely more than I can even imagine. I believe this with all of my heart, perhaps even more now than before. Second, this is survivable cancer. Even the doctor assured me of that. There is every reason to believe I'll be raising my own kids. Third, I know I have a huge network of family and friends ready to circle the wagons and help us through this trying time.

I have no idea what the next few months are really going to look like, but I will be blogging about all of it. Check back if you're interested in how the journey is going. And wear pink for me this month!


Along the Way... said...

Heidi my heart aches as I read this but am prayerfull and me and my entire family will include you to our nightly prayers list! GODS GOT THIS. And I know you have a journey ahead full of a lot of tough decisions and procedures but God is going to walk with you through it all. So you can back to the important things like sharing all your wonderfully funny stories about being a mother to those beautiful 3 girls.
With him all things are possible,

Kristeen Moon

Jamie Lapeyrolerie said...

I'll definitely be praying for you and your family as you guys walk down this journey! And you're right - God is still sovereign! Praying from Texas!

melanie said...

You are gonna ROCK this cancer. I'm already so encouraged by your positive outlook. I've added you to my regular prayer list. Wish I could give you a big fat hug!

Goes On Runs said...

who knew one could love an avocado so much! praying heidi! sorry so slow on the info.