“You Have Cancer”

12/19/14, Friday – Relief is in the air and I return to business as usual. I can’t worry because there are no confirmed results of what this “something” is not only what does it mean. We were hopeful results would come by Monday. A last minute decision led Lisa and I to Sushi Fever for supper and a much needed break. 5:30, 6:00, 6:30 p.m. comes and goes, then my phone rings. It’s Dr. Holley’s office. It was Ariel Eden Holley, MD’s sweet voice on the other end. She hesitated calling me on a Friday night but by God’s grace and her obedience to her instinct she called me with results.  My tumor is invasive ductal carcinoma. I have breast cancer. As scary and bad as it sounds it is really the best news of all the “bc”s out there, so I have been told. It is the most common type of “bc”. Highly treatable. It is in the very early stages. It is the size of a chick pea or garbanzo bean and this size is about the size you begin to feel it. Anything smaller and it is next to impossible to detect on manual exam. Also, it may not even have shown up on a mammogram 6 months ago. They don’t know for sure but that’s what I am told. I am now an example of “Early Detection”, and have been inducted into a club that none would ever want to be included in. All those are blessings from The Lord that He allowed me the wisdom through my Holy Spirit to notice the lump and act.

As Dr. Holley was talking, I was repeating her words, and Lisa was writing it all down. Invasive ductal carcinoma, breast cancer. Fighting back our tears, Lisa nods with encouragement, almost does a “happy dance”, and whispers with a smile, “I think that’s good.” Dr. Holley confirms It is the most common form of breast cancer, highly treatable. Okay. Here we go.

Three ugly words for anyone to say or hear, “______ have/has cancer.” Telling your three children right before Christmas is pretty difficult. Tyler and Gabi, both 22, just flew in from Oregon. They are 2,000 miles away and planning their July 2015 wedding. Both Travis (16) and Kyle (18) live with me. I must tell them sooner than later. They have no idea all I have kept to myself this last month. Lisa goes with me to tell the youngest. It went well and we ended the conversation with Travis referencing Walter White in Breaking Bad. Laughter is good medicine.

I text Bree the news and ask that she and Mitch pray together for me before I get there. On my way to Mitch and Bree’s house I am praying the Lord will give me a double portion of courage and strength, and allow me to fully use my gift of encouragement as I deliver the news. It’s a lot of fun and laughter at their house. I found myself not wanting to ruin the moment. I couldn’t walk away without telling the truth. It would only get harder. The Lord opened a window of time and gave me the courage to say, “I have breast cancer.”  I quickly went into explaining all the good news the doctors have shared about my diagnosis. I am going to be okay. The Lord poured His presence into the room. A room of five strong believers in agreement that I am healed. Now I just walk out the healing. Praise God.

I reach out to my friend, and sister in Christ, Darla. Thank you Darla for the BCRC and doc referrals, wisdom, contacts, prayers, friendship and love. You are a blessing!

I have made contact with the Breast Cancer Resource Center and they’ve assigned me a Senior Patient Navigator. She is a 14 year “bc” survivor. She has already proven to be invaluable to me. Her encouragement, information, and calmness settle my fears.

We won’t have any kind of plan for some time. God is preparing and has hand picked the perfect team consisting of an expert nutritionist Dr. Glen Luepnitz, thanks Meagan Wempe, love your heart for Christ, your spiritual gifts, your family and now your dad! Wink! I also have a general surgeon, Nancy Marquez, MD who removes the tumor and locates, extracts the sentinel lymph node gland, installs the chemo port if needed, etc. Next is the Oncologist, Lakshmi Balasubramanian, MD or Dr. Bala for short. She is amazing. Followed by a Radiation Oncologist, Karen Cohen, MD.

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