Last Friday I found out my genetic testing came back NORMAL, meaning I don't have any of the gene mutations associated with higher (much higher!) risks of cancer. Other types, as well as breast cancer reoccurance. This is great news!! I was waiting to get that back before making a decision on type of surgery to have. I wasn't concerned about the testing, because the chances of it coming back postive for anything was so low, but it was still a big relief when I found out. Definitely gave me and my family some peace of mind.
Sunday night, after finding that out, I went to a Young Survivors Group for women who have gone through breast cancer. I've been avoiding these, because 1: I didn't want to take MORE time away from my kids, and 2: I don't feel like talking about cancer even more! But I'm so glad I did! Amanda came with me, because I didn't know what to expect, but the group of women were all so sweet and shared their stories and where they are at now. Many of them have been done with treatment for over a year, but they are still dealing with side effects and love the support this group brings. One of the biggest suprises to me was that several of them said when they were done with treatment and declared "cancer-free" they had a VERY hard time emotionally. They said it was like they were in a treatment bubble and had to re-find themselves when it ended. The facilitators said this is very common, partly because our hormones are wacked all over the place, and partly because you just get caught up in "cancer" for so long that it's strange when your world doesn't center around it anymore. Very interesting. And good to know, in case I feel that way - I'll know it's "normal".
The other revelation I had at that group was how very fortunate I am to have the support around me that I do. Several of the women shared that their husband/significant other was not supportive. A couple of the ladies were recently divorced after cancer wreaked havoc on their marriage. Heart breaking. I am so thankful to be married to a man who is willing to do anything for me and has spent the last four months serving me. Andrew has not once complained about having to do my share of the housework or parenting, or having to put up with my grumpiness. He does so many little things just because he knows I'd like it. After listening to the other ladies' stories I have a new appreciation for him and told him so! As we are celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary, we can truly say that our marriage has gone through "sickness and health" and is stronger now than it was 6 months ago.
It's amazing how cancer doesn't just affect me. It's a ripple that touches a lot of lives in some way or another. I'm incredibly grateful that the people who have been touched by mine have been so patient and generous and loving toward me. It makes this journey possible.
Because my testing came back normal, I've decided to just have the lumpectomy. And after hearing stories of the surgeries I'm SO glad! The procedure will be so much easier on my body and recovery will be much faster. Now that I know, I'm ready to get it over with! My consult with the surgeon is next Friday, the 30th, and surgery will be a couple weeks after.
I still feel like this journey is far from over. Next January seems very far away!! But I know it'll go fast...and before we know it I'll be done. I can't wait!! I'm looking forward to not having all of my spare time taken up with doctor's appointments. I want my kids to be able to count on me again, instead of asking if I have to go to another appointment, or assuming that I won't be somewhere because I'm at the doctor. We'll get there. :)
Thank you for your love and prayers. God is so good and is constantly wrapping me in his arms. I'm so thankful for the peace that can only come from Him!