Hey guys! It is Aly again and we are on our way home- praise God! So thankful Josh has kept you all updated so that you can be praying specifically each day. I will fill you in on some more details, or I will try. We just got so much information, and it can be very overwhelming.
Oh by the way, I am writing to you all and Josh has been writing on our new IPad 2. It has been an absolute gift from God. Someone anonymously donated it to us, and to say it has been a blessing to us is an absolute understatement. We have gotten Internet everywhere which has helped us with directions, Josh being able to post to the blog, email, Facebook, etc... The most helpful thing has been being able to use it for my mymdanderson.com This is a website that each patient gets that has their schedule on it, along with messages and reminders. To be able to pull up this information on the iPad in a quick way has made a very hard and overwhelming thing become quite easy. To whoever did this, thank you. God has used you to help us feel connected and have a tool that makes this process easier and even fun at times. We are blown away at how God gives us exactly what we need when we need it.
When we got to MD Anderson, all we knew was that we were having a few tests run Wednesday and we would meet with the surgeon Thursday. We had absolutely no idea that we would be doing test after test, literally from 8 in the morning till 7 at night, and definitely did not think we would be doing chemo before we headed home. So, to say the least, it has been completely different than we expected it to be, but we know God goes before us and he determines our steps.
Thank you to all who prayed for my mammogram...little to no pain at all!!!!!!! God is so good and he heard the prayers of his people- thank you to all who prayed for that specifically. After my mammogram, I had an ultrasound and figured it would just be a routine ultrasound, only to find out they saw inflamed lymph nodes, and literally did a needle biopsy within 15 minutes. It was a blessing to have it all done so quickly, but just caught me so off guard and that was very emotional for me, and as you know already, that biopsy came back positive for cancer. Of course, this was not good news but so thankful to have it, because this is just the information the doctors needed to know how to treat me in the most effective way.
We met with a physician's assistant (Pier Tansey) and our surgeon (Dr. Babiera) the following day. All along, we thought I would first have surgery and then chemo, but because of finding out that cancer was in my lymph nodes, the wanted to go straight to chemo to kill as many cells as possible and see how I react to chemo. They got us in to a fertility specialist since there is a chance that chemo can affect fertility and wanted to start chemo right after creating embryos. After chemo would come surgery (bilateral mastectomy), then possible radiation, then reconstruction. So, needless to say, a lot of information in one sitting! For the time it would take to do all of the fertility stuff, it looked like I would start chemo around November 17. We obviously were overwhelmed, but felt like a plan was in place. The surgeon scheduled an appointment with the medical oncologist that very same day to go over what would be involved in chemo.
So, we meet with the medical oncologist who is an absolute God-send. Dr. Morrow is amazing with such a gentle and kind spirit, and she is the one who diagnosed me at stage 3 breast cancer because of the spreading to my lymph nodes. Also, by looking under the microscope, it scared her because by running a test, with 100% being the highest on the scale for the propensity of the cancer to grow, mine showed a 98% and this scared her. Because of this, she felt like chemtherapy needed to be done right away; however, we had just set up appointments with the fertility specialist. We were faced with the question of do we wait for the chemo to have our fertility taken care of, or do we take the doctor's advice to start immediately? Um, yes, the hardest and most difficult decision thus far. Josh and I cannot wait to have children and this was breaking our hearts. We prayed, cried, prayed, and cried some more and finally decided to start chemo immediately. We are trusting God with our future and our ability to have children. He tells us not to worry about tomorrow, but pray about everything and this exactly what we did and are doing. His promised always prove true. Psalm 128.
So, we started chemo yesterday with many, many other tests. I felt great as it was being administered and am still feeling great. God is proving himself to be who He says He is time and time again. Aside from a headache, I am feeling wonderful!!!
I hope this gives you all some more detail. I pray that every time I cross your mind, you pray for us and my complete healing. It is odd for me to post things like this for the whole world to read, but if I know that every person that reads this is praying for me, I will post anything:) Thank you for the specificity in your prayers and truly being the body of Christ to me- hurting when I hurt, crying when I cry, rejoicing when I rejoice, and crying out to the Father on my behalf.
3 of my best friends in the entire world have been with me this entire week (Kel, Ainsley, and Margot), and they have been the biggest blessing I could imagine. Of course, my mom and Josh's parents have been here too, and all they are doing for me and continue to do are amazing.
Once again, thank you for every message, call, and text. I could never express how much it means to me. Also, many funny things happened I will share at some point to have some posts that wil make us all smile. God gave us laughter and joy among the craziness. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! We will keep you updated!