From Rose: One year ago, life changed for me. I got a call from my doctor saying something showed up on my annual mammogram and they needed further images. A couple days later I was at the clinic and minutes after further images were taken a doctor walked in the room to tell me things “didn’t look good”. I thought to myself, umm, doctors don’t usually give you this information right away. Uh ooh! The techs led me to another room so the doctor could perform an ultrasound and Steve arrived to listen in on their suspicions. Next, I was moved to another room so another doctor could perform multiple biopsies of my right breast. This doctor concurred with the first that they were pretty sure it was cancer. Steve took me home and I walked in the door and had a good, hard cry. The rug had officially been pulled out from under me.
And so, as you all know, this cancer thing has been a long journey. Sometimes it seems surreal, sometimes I don’t like thinking about those bad days filled with anxiety, the days of awful side effects from chemo, the pain of surgeries and biopsies, and the fear of the unknown. I guess what has gotten me through this is the good things in life: my faith in God, my wonderful husband, my goofball dog, my very caring parents, sisters, sister-in-laws, brother-in-laws and Aussie family. Our Madison family made up of friends, neighbors, firefighters, workout buddies and all my dog pals. The good things in life kept me strong and positive like my team of physicians, nurses, technicians, phlebotomists, schedulers, receptionists, and acupuncturists at UW Carbone Cancer Center.
Words cannot express my gratitude and thanks to all of you who have helped me on this journey. Whether you sat with me at chemo, walked my dog, brought us food, prayed, sent a card, email or text. It all played a part in keeping our spirits positive.
My future holds continued surveillance by my team of doctors but I look forward to enjoying life, planting flowers, going for walks with Steve and June Bug and the list goes on and on.
I am blessed; Life is good.
From Steve: There isn't much I can add to what Rose wrote except that I'm am grateful in so many ways for all the help we got during this hard time. It's not completely over, but we are making changes and doing what we can to make sure this is the last post we have to write.
I am well aware that not everyone has the awesome healthcare that we do and not everyone gets to have hope at the end of their treatment like we do. I was so impressed with the grace, courage, and determination that Rose displayed throughout her many treatments. I can tell you for a fact that I would've complained a ton more than she did. I probably complained more than she did and I wasn't even the one that was sick!
The photos show Rose getting a send off from the Carbone Cancer folks after her last treatment on April 30. The other photos are at dinner afterwards with friends and neighbors. Last Friday, they removed her port for the grand finale!
As we continue to get back to "normal", I try to pay your many favors forward when I see someone else who is in need. I have many favors to go. Many, many favors to go...