Cancer: Get up off the mat

Cancer: Get up off the mat

I hung up the phone in pure shock and disbelief. November 28th, 2023 is a day that will forever live burned in my memory. The doctor called late in the afternoon as I was getting my daughter ready to go to dance class. This was the type of call they didn't like making, the news they didn't want to deliver. The biopsy came back and I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

In the coming days, I would learn the tumor was estrogen positive, progesterone positive, and Her2 positive also; and it looked like it had spread already to my lymph node. The days now became full of research, doctors appointments, more tests, and eventually decision fatigue. This particular kind of breast cancer has to be treated with chemotherapy - another shock to me. Originally the doctors said surgery and maybe radiation. That all changed as more results came in and the hits just kept coming.

Finally, after seeking a second opinion (which I want to stop and say to anyone in my situation you absolutely should do), I settled on the second surgeon and oncologist team. They took hours to sit and talk with my husband and me and answered every question. 

I am just now finished with the first round of chemo and the following week that comes with it. (I'll share more about that in another post). 

The hardest part about getting this news as literally feeling like a giant pallet full of concrete cinder blocks had knocked me off my feet, and left me on my back, while sitting on top of me. 

I choose to share the news fairly quickly with friends and family. I felt like the support would be helpful, especially for my kids. And I knew that my whole life was changing, so if I didn't share - it wasn't going to make sense. I had to drop all sorts of commitments, cut back on work (very drastically), and basically just step back from everything except the most important or basic. 

In all this, I knew God was with me. I could feel it. But everything was so dark. I could feel He was there, but gosh it felt like I was drowning. As much as possible I kept a smile and tried to stay positive through.

On January 5th (the day before my 42nd birthday), I met with the doctor who would be my oncologist and we spent a lengthy time going through treatment plans. I knew at this point that as much as I didn't want to go this route - treatment was the right option and what I would need to do. 

Something clicked that day. Like in a very significant way. Something clicked and I got up off the mat. I can't really say for sure what it was, but something clicked. The fog, the clouds, the darkness I had felt since that phone call lifted and I knew I had to get up off the mat. 

So here I am. Up off the mat. The gloves are off and I guess you could say I am in the fight of my life. That feels pretty dramatic. Which is okay, but I don't feel that dramatic. I feel peace and calm. I feel assured of the Lord's presence and healing power working in my body. I feel hope. And I am legit just putting 1 foot in front of the other on this thing. 

So what is this you ask? This blog? Well I really don't know. Maybe it's a cathartic way for me to put pen to paper as I walk this road. A bit of a journal of sorts while helping me come to terms with it all. Maybe. Maybe it's a little ray of hope to someone who just got the news today or some other type of news that feels like its knocked you to the mat. Just maybe this will bring hope to someone else. That would be my prayer. 

In the meantime, let me close blog entry #1 out by saying this --- it's ok to get knocked to the mat. But don't stay there. Push on past the darkness, and get up off the mat. 


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