So, I'm sure you have all heard by now, but by bone scan was not only clear, but PERFECT! Everything looked completely normal! Josh suggested that we get to the hospital early to see if we could get in early, and that is exactly what happened. A nurse practitioner walked in our room, introduced herself, and then said, "Everything is completely normal," and I burst into tears. It was one of those awkward moments when she has more information to give me, but can't quite say what she is wanting to say because I am crying so much...ha ha. I just kept apologizing and telling her how thankful I was. We had never met this nurse before. She is a breast cancer survivor and shared some of her experiences with us, which was very helpful. She even showed us the bone scan, which was neat to look at. We are still not sure what is going on with my back and rib/stomach. She basically said that it is most likely my body trying to get back to normal with all that it has been through. She gave us some things to try, so we will definitely be doing those. She explained to us that she hasn't come across a breast cancer survivor that doesn't have a "spot." Meaning, a spot that aches or bothers them, or feels weird, or flares up. She showed us where hers is, and that she just knows that's her "spot." So maybe this spot on my rib/stomach is my "spot", and my back pain will heal very soon. Like I said before, I can deal with any pain, but it of course would be nice to have some relief. So, please keep praying that my rib/stomach and back continue to heal and feel better every day. My 6 month check up with my oncologist was scheduled for Nov. 2nd, but since they saw me in the office on Friday, they said they won't have to see me for 3 months from then. So, my next oncology check up is January 7th.
When I went to get my injection for the bone scan on Thursday, I realized that this was one of the first "cancer-type" things that I've had to do since finishing treatment. While all of my reconstructive issues haven't been pleasant, they haven't dealt with cancer issues, and these tests most definitely do! As I was in a back room getting an IV put in for my bone scan, I was taken back to when I was getting those first tests and just cancer treatment in general- the pain of the IV, watching Josh watching me, the smells, the nurses, the waiting...it was in that moment when all of the emotions rushed over me. I am sitting there begging God to not have me go through this again. I am a willing vessel and will be used for whatever he needs me for, but was definitely honest in that moment and have been much like David begging for my life.
"To you, Lord, I called to the Lord I cried for mercy: “What is gained if I am silenced, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness? Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me. Lord, be my help.” You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever." Psalm 30: 8-12
Josh's parents and my mom were able to come down for my scan and appointment and of course, we were all overjoyed to hear the results. One test holding so much weight is overwhelming. With it being clear, we go home and go on with life. If it had not been clear, our worlds would stop. One ends in a car ride home; the other ends in deciding treatment options. There isn't much of a middle ground and that is where the Lord literally has to hold my hand and carry me.
"Surely God is my help: the Lord is the one who sustains me." Psalm 54:4
Josh and I have talked much about how this test has given us relief, and we are so very thankful. As we look over this past year, we see that we have been in a valley, with highs and lows, but staying in the valley. We are trying to find that balance of celebrating a good report, with still remaining in our valley. What I mean by that is we want to be just as desperate for God this week as we were last week. I am by no means saying that we are staying sad, doom, gloom, etc..., but realizing our desperate need for God each day- good reports, bad reports, tired days, days full of energy. We believe we will stand on our mountain and have full proof by man's eye of complete healing and wholeness, but we never want to forget what God has done, or get to a place where God has to allow something to happen to have us desperate. We want him to know we are always desperate for Him. For our physical health, for guidance in every part of our lives, for the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts, for our families, for our children...the list goes on and on. We are striving for a balance between staying in our "valley" and celebrating the victories!!! But, there is no doubt about it, a victory was indeed celebrated this week, and I know there are MANY more to come.
What's next??? Well, Josh and I will leave this afternoon to head to Houston. By rough calculations, I think it is trip #44 to Houston. Crazy, huh?! I have a breast ultrasound tomorrow morning in preparation for my radiation check-up appointment on Wednesday. I guess they are doing an ultrasound to make sure everything looks good. The last time I had a breast ultrasound was when I actually had breasts:)..so it will be interesting to see how this one goes. I will also get expanded tomorrow. I am not sure how many more expansions I will be able to get. Our goal was to get me back to the breast size I was before my mastectomy, but we are not sure if we will be able to attain that. My left breast (the radiated side) does not stretch as well, so it is a kind of watch and see type deal to see how much it can be expanded. I would like to look as close to my old self, but once again these cosmetic issues pale in importance to the others, but I of course, would like to feel like myself. So, we will have appointments on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Things to pray for/ continue to pray for:
1: Total healing
2: Back, rib/stomach pain to subside
3: Breast ultrasound to look perfect
4: Great radiation check-up
5. Breast expansions to be successful
6. Balance in all areas for Josh and I
7. My fertility
The things that bring me to tears the most are envisioning so many of you praying for me. I know there have been so many on their knees calling out to God on my behalf. I have been so needy over this past year, and I want to get to a place soon where I can extend my genuine, heartfelt, inexpressible gratitude for your faithfulness to prayer for me. I have felt so emotionally, physically, spiritually exhausted to be able to serve, thank, give back to others. I am looking forward to be able to give back, although I assume I will be in a deficit forever. I am one thankful girl.
Another exciting piece of news, I will be an aunt again at the end of February or March. My sister, Jessica, and her husband Jeremy are having a little boy!!! So, we will have a niece in January and a nephew shortly thereafter. 2013 will be an exciting, joyful year in Jesus' name!