My ultrasound Tuesday showed that I am still responding to treatment!!!:) Praise the Lord. I am just not very surprised at God's faithfulness to me anymore...He's proved himself faithful so many times, so why should I ever doubt Him? Sadly, at times I do, but He is teaching me more than I ever knew I could be taught. He is such a good God. He rejoices over me!!! That thought and picture just astounds me. The Lord is glad when He sees me trusting Him. When I get good news, He is rejoicing! I am tearing up now just thinking about it. When I truly mediate on that thought, it is mind-bottling. I serve an amazing God. He loves me so much... I owe him everything.
I met with my surgeon, Dr. Babiera, and she was pleased with my progress. We basically just talked about what all she would be doing in surgery. The first surgery that I have will be removing my left breast (the cancer breast) and all of my lymph nodes on the left side. The plastic surgeon will come in right behind her and put in a tissue expander, which prepares the chest wall for an eventual implant. Sorry if this is too much info:) Just thought you all would want to know. Later down the road will come the removal of the right breast, with final reconstruction on both breasts. From the first surgery to all-done reconstruction will take about a year.
We were happy you get a tentative surgery date of April 23rd! If I stay on schedule with my chemo, I will finish chemo on the 29th of March. We have to wait for the chemo to get out of my system to have my surgery. I am so glad to have a date of surgery-- I believe the cancer will be gone before the surgery, but there will be no doubts about it once I have the surgery, so I am looking forward to it!
Of course, I am nervous about the surgery. It is crazy to think about not having one of your breasts, but I mostly have peace about it. The cancer will be gone and when everything is said and done, I will mostly look like my old self again. My main concern has been the impact on Josh. He has been amazing and reassures me He will find me beautiful. The scars I have will only remind us of what Satan tried to do and how the Lord rescued me from death! We all face death every day, but I have been staring it in the face, and refusing it with every part of my being. Every time I look at myself, I will see the healing power of my Lord and Savior. In that way, I am blessed to have God's name literally marked on my body. Oh, that I would represent Him well!!! Gosh, the tears just keep coming!:)
Psalm 103: 4 "He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies"
After my appointment with my surgeon, we met my radiation oncologist (Dr. Strom) for the first time and we really liked him. He explained how the radiation works and what all would take place during radiation. It looks like I would start radiation around the 3rd week of May and it would last for 6 weeks. Josh and I will move to Houston during this time. Some of my parents' friends from college have offered up their condo to us during this entire 6 weeks. WOW! We were in awe, but once again, I am just not surprised at the Lord anymore. The Knotts are amazing and we cannot say thank you enough.
The radiation is 5 days a week for 6 weeks. By rough calculations, it looks like I would be finished with radiation treatment in mid-July. Then, treatment would officially be over. The other surgeries to follow would just be the reconstruction surgeries of both of my breasts. So, we got a bunch of info, huh?!
As far as how I am feeling, I am feeling great!!! I have been more tired than usual, but other than that, I feel almost exactly as I did on Taxol. By the the way, that is NOT normal. By all accounts, I should be throwing up and bound to the bed. I went to work yesterday and felt great. God is protecting me with His shield. I believe this new, tougher, chemo will go straight to the cancer and kill every last bit of it. Our sweet friend told me last night that she was calling the "red devil" the "red target" because it will go straight to the cancer and kill every last bit of it and not touch anything else. I believe that is exactly what is happening.
My fingernails do not hurt as bad, but are getting a little darker in color. I am hoping they look and feel a little better soon. Here is a pic--sorry if it grosses you out--just so many have asked:)
LOVE YOU and THANK YOU for your continued, so treasured prayers. I won't go back to MDA until February 16th, but I'm sure I will update before then.