Monday, June 21, 2010

The Story

Throughout my life, I've had to deal with Cancer. Twice as a child, my grandmother underwent mastectomies for Breast Cancer. My great-grandpa passed away when I was seven from Leukemia. When I was a Senior in high school, a little girl I babysat died from Brain Cancer. When I was 20, my grandfather passed due to Abdominal Cancer. In 2007 my best friend fought the same battle and I lost him too. I've always known Cancer, known its effects on people. And in the back of my mind, always knew that at some point in my life, it would be something I dealt with on a personal level, within my own body. There were just too many people in my family who had dealt with it for me to imagine that it would never strike me. Back in March of this year, I went to the doctor for some small cysts. They weren't painful, or anything like that, just annoying. The doctor agreed that they needed to be removed. He informed me that once removed they'd be sent to a lab for tests, and that this was standard procedure. So in April, I went in and had the surgery to have them removed. Turns out, they were malignant. (Cancer.) I was, to be honest, stunned. I'd expected Cancer, but not now. Not like this. In the span of 2 seconds I became a Cancer survivor. As that sank in, he explained that he needed to do more testing to find out if there were any more abnormal cells. If any were present, we'd need a biopsy. I went in for the tests, and he found three areas that popped for abnormal cells. He did the biopsies and explained to me that from there we would have three options. 1, they would come back as Cancer and have to be removed immediately. 2, they would come back as something we would need to watch very carefully, which would mean biopsies every month. 3, they would come back as just abnormal cells and we'd keep an eye on them and biopsy them every 4-6 months. When the results came in, 2 of the 3 areas were Cancer and surgery was scheduled. He also set me up on one round of oral chemotherapy. He was convinced the surgery would remove all of the Cancer, but the chemo would take care of any that he might possibly miss. I had the surgery, and 5 days later I went in for the chemo. It was all rather anticlimactic. I took the pill, sat in his office so they could watch me for any immediate reaction, and came home. I have had a small bit of nausea from the chemo, though the nausea medication I was given keeps that under control. And I am losing some hair, but I have enough that so far it isn't overly noticeable, both of which I'm very grateful for. And that's where my story is for now. There are days when it freaks me out. When I wake up thinking about how scary it is, how different it could have been. I thank the Lord every day for bringing me through this, for giving me a wealth of friends who have been there to support me, cry with me, chit chat with me to take my mind off things, make me laugh, hope with me, pray with me and stand behind me telling me that no matter what I need they're there for me. If nothing else, my journey down this road has taught me that with the kind of friends I have, the family that has chosen me, I can make it through anything.

**This post approved by Amanda Heimann ;)


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