Well on January 28, 2016 Aaron and I flew to Chicago to CTCA (Cancer Treatment Centers of America) for a second opinion regarding my breast cancer and my sister Julie met us there. What an experience. God’s hand was over each step, each appointment, each nurse and doctor I spoke with and every person I came in contact with. What a blessing.
My sister Julie was in awe at how amazing the treatment was there. My sister lives in Canada so for her to see the treatment here, was a fantastic experience for her. We all got into the Chicago airport and they had a shuttle waiting for us with a driver that gave us all the info we needed as first timers and I LOVED it! We learned quickly how different things are there. When we got to the hotels as he did drop offs, he talked to everyone by name, said something personal to them and then we went on to the next hotel. There are several hotels that the CTCA puts patients up in, which is amazing! When it was our hotel, Aaron tried to tip him and he was told that they do not accept any tips there. We were told they are paid very well to take care of the patients and no extra was needed or accepted. Blew my mind, as I had never heard anyone not take money before……
We took our shuttle to the hospital the next day and we were welcomed, had breakfast, which was all paid for – ALL my meals were paid for every day that I was there, Aaron’s too. We met with a doctor who had all my files and went over EVERYTHING……almost exhausting, however I knew the more information they had, the better options they could give me. They had me in for my MRI, bone scan, blood work, etc that same afternoon. CRAZY!!! My sister sat in awe watching how quick everything happened, how kind they were to me and every other patient, and also how kind they were to the caregivers……so many people forget about the caregivers and yet they have such a powerful and important job…….the patients well being.
They found a nodule in my neck and immediately they had the appointment to ultrasound, which lead to a biopsy, all done in the same day. All came back benign. Thank you Lord.
When we sat with the oncologist, they gave me several options. Several options. At MD Anderson, they told me I had no other options other than to do the monthly shot. Perhaps because I am part of a “study”, I don’t know. I am happy to be a part of a study to gather data, however if my body is suffering and so is my way of life, don’t you look at other options?
One option she said was oophorectomy. As she said it, I vividly remembered a dream I had over a year ago – it was a dream I had two or three times and I even told Aaron about it. I kept dreaming that something was supposed to come out, and it was clear it was a “woman part” I just never knew if it was a hysterectomy or not. After having that dream, Aaron and I had asked our oncologist at the time if a hysterectomy or an oophorectomy was an option. We were told it was not an option for me. So I let it go……….there’s a reason they say to follow your gut instinct…..and why it’s important to get a second opinion.
Right away I knew this was the path for me. I felt a complete and perfect peace that I know only comes from God. For whatever reason, I had to go through the past year of this horrible shot and what it did to my body, and I also know everything happens for a reason. It brought me closer to God. It made me lean on God for comfort, strength, and wisdom. I prayed that when God’s timing was right that He would open the perfect door that He wanted me to walk through and He did……He opened the door to CTCA and these amazing people.
What blew my mind even more is that when they sent me to see the surgeon, he would not even consider the surgery until I had an ultra sound and MRI to be sure my uterus was in good condition and that there was no sign of anything. I was so thankful that they didn’t just go ahead with what I decided, but that they were soooooo detailed in each step they did and very deliberate. I am sooooo thankful that they had my well being in mind and wanted to make sure each part of me was checked before I went a step further.
I left to come back to Texas before I had all of the results and they said once they were in that they would book the appropriate surgery for me. I agreed. I left feeling fulfilled, I felt like I was heard and that I was cared for and that I wasn’t just a medical record number, but that I was a person, Michelle Perzan. I felt respected and I felt as though I had options, exactly what I had prayed for. I was so happy that I waited on Gods timing and I didn’t push and push for things that may not have been where I was supposed to be. As humans we just naturally want things right away, but that does not mean it’s the best place for us……..when the time is right, God always provides, because He is always faithful.
I’m so thankful that my sister got to come and see the hospital and meet the doctors and see where her baby sister was going for treatment. I’m blessed to have a husband like Aaron who wouldn’t take the side effects and the treatment of MD Anderson anymore and reached out and was persistent enough to find CTCA. He is such an amazing man and rock for us……..God has provided for me in so many ways and there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t thank God for blessing me beyond measure, it’s sure nothing that I’ve done to deserve it. Never waste a moment not being thankful for those around you……….nothing lasts forever, be intentional every day.