Tuesday February 23rd, my friend Stephanie and I flew up to Chicago to CTCA. Since all of my results came back clear and I was told I was cancer free, it was time to be proactive. I was not ever having those shots again and I was so happy beyond belief!!! For this trip, Aaron and I thought it would be easier on the boys if he stayed home, as they were struggling with both of us gone last time and it was affecting them. They have been through so much the past two years and I know kids are resilient, however if I could make life any easier for them, I wanted to…….
On top of that, on the last trip up to Chicago, once we got back Aaron got staph infection in his face again and the doctors told him he should not fly. To me that was God confirming that Aaron should stay home with the boys. My sister was not able to meet me up there, plus, I needed someone to fly home with since I would be sore, I wouldn’t be able to lift and would need help. A couple of my friends volunteered, which blew my mind! So my friend Stephanie came with me and her whole family supported her and me and stepped up to help with her kids while she would be gone helping me.
We were picked up in a limo from the airport and it paved the way for the visit and I know Stephanie could not believe the treatment we received as patients. We drove to Zion with other patients and it was so wonderful to hear their stories of hope and how when other hospitals told them they had no other options, they travelled here and were not only given options, but hope! You could see God working in their lives and it was just so amazing to hear.
Pre op went easy and I even went for a hair cut, as they have every need you could want there! As usual, I didn’t ask many questions to the doctors, but Stephanie filled Aaron’s shoes pretty good as she asked question after question, just like Aaron would! I told her before hand to go ahead and ask whatever came to mind, because that was usually Aaron’s job and I always forget to ask things!!! She was prepared and I’m glad I asked her to do that……..she asked some good stuff!!!
The next morning, we went in and I felt very peaceful, I could feel the prayers from everyone. I was content and thankful I had such a good friend there with me that took time out of her life to be there for me and that her husband encouraged it. Friends like that are very rare. Friends that support you and don’t want or expect anything in return………what a blessing. God always puts people in your life at the right time for His glory and it never ceases to amaze me.
The rest is honestly a blur, apparently the surgery went very good and I was up and walking to the bathroom by myself within two hours of the surgery – mostly because I knew from so many c-sections that the quicker I got up, the quicker they would let me go home!!! I had to spend the night in the hospital, and my room was like a suite, it was huge! I ate a lot of cherry jello and that’s really all I remember! I did so well that they let me fly home the next day, on Friday……….Aaron was against it, wanted me to stay one more day, but they were discharging me anyways, the doctors said I could fly and I wanted to be home and recover there in comfort, not in a hotel room. So, the flights were booked and off we went Friday afternoon to the airport!
They had a wheelchair for me and amazing treatment once again and all I could think is, but for the grace of God am I here and being so well taken care of. It was Gods strength that made me get up and keep pushing myself, and getting through the airport terminal and the flight…..not my own. I knew and I believe that God provided CTCA for me to go to so what was there for me to worry about? Nothing………He had it all taken care of and I just walked in that faith.
A couple people didn’t want me to fly the next day because of germs and pain and so on……..I told them not to worry, that I wasn’t, that my faith and trust was in God and I was in His hands. For me to get through these past few years, that is how I have had to think, live and believe……there’s no other way to get through what I have without complete faith. The times I wander off that, and look at the past years and what has happened, I break down crying, almost in disbelief of everything that has happened and everything I have lost and been through………..that’s how my week was last week………a bit of a struggle thinking of loss and missing my mom.
I think I became emotional because my cousin Tony had surgery for cancer they found at the end of January, and I found out about it the day after my surgery. They didn’t want to tell me because I was going to have surgery and they didn’t want me to worry. I wouldn’t have worried, I would have prayed, however I understand why they waited to tell me. It took a couple of weeks to sink in that someone else in my family had cancer and it brought back a flood of memories and loss and the past few years and I broke down……….it was a small crack for the enemy to creep in and look at the past in such sadness and loss instead of the amazing healing and blessings that God has provided……….at church last Sunday I broke down in tears at the end and went up for prayer with Aaron just being open and vulnerable about the past week and how the enemy was trying to creep in and create doubt and fear and loneliness………….saying it out loud takes the power away from the enemy to me and it was good to say it out loud and then repent for not staying on my lit up path that God has provided.
I know there will be days that I will continue to stumble, for I am human and I make mistakes everyday. I know there will be times that the enemy will continue to try and creep in and remind me of how I suffered, what I lost and sadness will follow. For every night I still don’t sleep through the night due to discomfort because life is never the same after a bi lateral mastectomy, and I become exhausted…..that I stand strong in prayer because that is when the enemy tries to sneak in and put lies in my head. If I can remember to start each day with prayer and thanksgiving and be grateful for each day God has given me with my boys and with Aaron, and I can continue to share my story with others, sharing hope, and Gods faithfulness……….life is good and I will persevere. I continue to pray that God continues to open doors for me to be able to share my story, what God has done in my life so that I can encourage others to find strength in their storm.
I was just asked to share a speech I gave for the Toastmasters International contest. I will be sharing it at the Ambitious Women Conference on April 1st in Dallas. I am already praying that I am able to inspire or encourage someone there that is going through a struggle and needs to hear it. I am praying that God can work in hearts and that some lives are changed because they will lean on God for their needs. Today I am thankful for my friends and for opportunities to share my struggles and how God has given me strength in my storm………..without Him I could not do it…….I’m thankful I don’t have to……..neither do you.