Our life is full of moments. Moments we treasure. Moments we despise. There are even moments we re-live. There are some days that a certain smell will hit me and it will take me back into a moment as if I were experiencing it right then and there. Common moments may be your wedding day, or hearing the news of a lost loved one, a baby being born, or maybe even just affirming words from someone. Well, needless to say, this last year and a half has been full of moments for me. Moments I'll never forget. Some moments I wish I could forget- others I wish I could bask in: Hearing I had breast cancer, our "send off blessing night" that our church had for us as we headed to MDA, waiting during my unnerving ultrasounds, hearing my fertility chances were low, seeing my husband struggle to function, my last chemo, the night before my mastectomy, Dr. Litton giving me my clear pathology, the list goes on and on. The ironic thing is that many of my "moments" haven't been these huge milestones listed above. It would be too complicated and too long to explain, but many of the moments I have experienced along this journey were moments ordained by God that maybe didn't look so huge to others on the outside.
"You didn't choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name."
I had another moment just a couple days ago. We were in Houston for my oncology check-up and my plastic surgery check-up. As I've described before, I feel such a connection with my plastic surgery team. At this point, they have done 4 major surgeries on me and I know I've had to have had over 30 appointments with them through my expansions and check-ups. I sent Dr. Villa a picture collage after my last surgery that was entitled "Thank you for putting me back together." It had several pictures of me and I showed my progression to where he has helped me get. I hadn't talked to him since I sent him this. I also sent my PA some flowers for V-day. These people are so special to me...
Well, when Dr. Villa came in my room on Tuesday, he loved on me and said he cried when he got my package. He of course asked me all of the doctor questions and then took tons of pictures of me- from every angle. There I am standing with my shirt off and he just says "You look beautiful." I know this may sound so simple, but to have a man, that isn't my husband say that is pretty indescribable. It isn't creepy or weird. It it like a dad looking at his daughter, with all her imperfections and being in awe. He is very "father-like" and super kind and compassionate...remind me some of my dad, so I I'm sure that plays into feeling so validated by him. After he took my pictures, I put my shirt on so he could see how I looked in a shirt. He just kept hugging me. I started to cry and once again told them thank you for all they have done for me. There we were all crying in that hospital room, like we have many times before. Then we all walk out of the room with red noses and wet faces as if I received bad news. But no, it's because we love each other and have an unspeakable bond that comes from vulnerability and trust. I don't think I can adequately express this moment. A moment that is forever ingrained in my mind and heart. The power of a moment...
I literally cried for over an hour after my appointment. Josh had left to go on a trip after my oncology appointment, which gave me some good alone time with God. As I was still in MDA, at Whole foods, at homegoods, driving in my car-- I was crying so hard and just soaking in the moment I had with Dr. Villa and Alisha--thanking God for putting these people it my life. It is still hard to put into words or explain...So I just cry.
This is me waiting for my plastic appointment. We get some fancy robes:)
Another moment came on Monday when we met with Dr. Litton and she said that all of my symptoms don't concern her. This is what I was praying for. She was pleased with how I was doing and the next time I see her will be August 19th. She scheduled all of my scans on the 18th (these are the scans she wants to run before trying for baby) and then I will see her the following day. God answered my prayers by allowing us to schedule these scans and having her unconcerned with everything. She encouraged many things for my back pain, so we will look into those options as well. Another moment--hugging my hubby in the room after Litton leaves, as we do after each visit and thanking God for continuing to show his faithfulness in my body---
"I will sing of the Lord's great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations."
After my perfect oncology check-up
During my plastic surgery appointment Tuesday, we talked about what else needed to be done to complete my reconstruction. There are still a few nips and tucks that are needed non-surgically and we discussed those. We also discussed the possibility of another surgery. Because one breast has been radiated and one has not, the radiated one does not drop like a normal breast does, so Dr. Villa suggested possibly doing a lift on my non-radiated side to make it a bit more symmetrical before we do the finishing touches. This possible surgery could also flatten some of my drain scars and take out some skin that bothers me under my armpits (where my lat flap muscle is pulled under). So we are praying about what to do, but I feel peace either way. Please pray for us on this.
So obviously a huge moment for us was when we received my clear pathology last year that the doctors were doubtful would come to pass. That was on April 30, 2012. That was a HUGE moment. Praise God that my healing has been made evident for 1 whole year! I will never forget Dr. Litton saying that my pathology was perfect...seeing her giddy face...Josh breaking down... and her not really having much else to say. She explained that she normally could go over different things, but because it was clear, she didn't have much else to say. What an incredible day... an incredible moment. It has been one whole year!!! My first doctor, Dr. Morrow (the one who moved in the middle of my treatment to California) posted this comment on my blog after learning of my clear pathology:
"I talked to Dr. Litton today and cried on hearing the wonderful news! God is so good! I thank God with all of my heart for the wonderful results and for putting you and Josh in my life and blessing with me with the opportunity to be your doctor. With great love, PK Morrow" Another incredible moment...
So, my next appointments (not considering if I have another surgery) are scheduled for June 19th, which are check ups with my radiation doctor and surgical oncologist. I will have X-rays and ultrasounds done at these appointments so please already start praying for perfect results from these. Please continue praying for my back pain. I had a back MRI last week and it showed a bulging disk on my L5-S1, so I'm relieved to know what is causing the pain, but it is still tough. Also, now that we have a date for all my scans, be praying for August 18...clear in Jesus' name. I will update soon.
Enjoy the video below that we made right after I received my pathology results, 1 year ago, a week after my mastectomy surgery.
I got to stop by Shreveport on my way home and was able to love on my sweet nephew, Liam
Encouraging you to treasure and notice the moments,