It was a year ago now that I first found the lump on my breast and the whirlwind of testing began, but really God started preparing me and our family for the journey months before. I’ve been thinking a lot over the last few days about that and thought I would share where we came from, a summary of what we’ve been through the last year and where we are now.
In the Fall of 2012 Wayne and I were spending almost every waking moment together (aside from work, etc.) and he and Savannah also began attending church with me regularly, but it was obvious that ‘my’ home church was not a good match for our emerging family, so we started a frustrating couple months of ‘church shopping’. While we visited many lovely communities, none were the right match for us for one reason or another. In November I attended a Cursillo weekend as a team member. While there I was given the message to “Be Still” and not be afraid. That verse has continued to come to me throughout this journey and has brought me a lot of peace. I spoke with many of my friends there about no longer feeling like I had a church home and was invited by my friend Nicole to join her at their church, Harvest Hills Alliance, which was very near my home. We went the following Sunday and knew immediately that we were home!
We had a wonderful Christmas together and in January Wayne’s roommates announced that they were moving out. After a lot of discussion between us and with the children, we decided that Keeghan and I would move in. It was a hard decision, we were making it not only for ourselves, but also for our children, and with my divorce not yet complete and no end in sight, we had no idea if and when we would ever be able to formalize our relationship. I gave notice to my landlord for March 1 and we started our life under one roof.
So we had formalized our relationship, found a Church and I’d heard the message from the Lord to “Be Still” … and then we knew why.
At the end of March I had a sore spot in my breast and in a couple whirlwind weeks of testing, I received a preliminary diagnosis of breast cancer on April 23 and the more detailed diagnosis of Stage 3 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma just a few short days later on April 26. I went off work and started the first of eight rounds of chemo by the end of the first week of May. Wayne was by my side at every single chemo. He didn’t have to be, I had other friends and family that had offered to be there with me, but he wanted to support me through this.
There were ups and downs through chemo, I had amazing support through some tough spots, including a horrible round 5. A round that had me confessing through tears to my oncologist that if I didn’t have a family who needed me I didn’t know if I would carry on. I was (figuratively) on my knees begging God to either heal me or take me. Obviously I made it through! The last four rounds of chemo were a lot tougher with several emergency room visits, but through amazing friends and family, we made it through. I had too loving girlfriends who came very late one night to support me through a horrible nose bleed that almost resulted in another emergency room visit. Instead it stopped, we enjoyed some tea and time of fellowship. I guess God knew we needed some time together 😉
September saw the end of Chemo (yay) and just a few days later we went on the CIBC Run for the Cure. October brought Thanksgiving, where I was very much reminded of how much I had to be thankful for and then my surgery. While surgery was more invasive than we had hoped, it was done.
Radiation was to start 6 weeks later, but ended up delayed multiple times as I faced post surgical complications and then delays at the radiation planning team replanned my treatment to reduce the potential damage to my heart and lungs. During January I hit a rock bottom of depression and was once again on my knees before God praying for Him to lift me up or let me go. That is a very scary place to be, but once again He brought me through it.
And now, a year after finding that fateful lump, I am almost done, just 8 treatments to go. I look back, truly in awe of our God of wonders, who prepared me for this journey and has carried me through it. I could not imagine facing cancer alone, there are so many times where Wayne has cared for the kids, cooked dinner, held my hand, dried my tears, cared for my sick body… not that friends and family would not have helped me out, I know they would have, but God was good and placed a partner by my side and I am SO thankful. I have been graced by a wonderful family, awesome group of friends (some that I have never met and know only through online communities) and a church home that has been by our side through this all, and I can’t wait to celebrate the end with everyone.