The “C” Word

Family

February 4, 2020

Newburgh, IN Family Photographer | Evansville, IN Family Photographer | Newburgh, IN Newborn Photographer | Evansville, IN Newborn Photographer

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Today was one of those days where you realize the power in prayer.

About 6 weeks ago I found a lump in my breast. I was certain it was nothing, but three weeks later I went in for a mammogram just to be safe. I walked into that mammogram feeling stupid for even being there. I was a healthy, 34-year-old woman who was clearly making something out of nothing. I nearly cancelled the appointment the week before because I was so certain nothing was wrong.

I went in for my first ever mammogram and experienced far more than I expected. What was supposed to be a simple mammogram ended up being multiple mammogram scans, an ultrasound and a biopsy. Talk about getting more than you bargained for.

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The incredible radiologist came in multiple times to explain what was going on. I was there by myself because I had told my husband there was no need to come (because, again, there was no way there was anything wrong) and he was so wonderful at explaining things to an incredibly overwhelmed woman. He told me that he had seen what he was seeing on my scans before and that he had never seen it before and it NOT be cancer. He was very clear that he did not think it was life-threatening, but he was nearly certain I would not be able to keep my breast. I asked about the process and what to expect and we talked about oncology and plastic surgeons and treatment after the mastectomy. My head was spinning, but the doctor was so wonderful and made it a little less terrifying.

I had a biopsy done right away and left the hospital being told there was an 80% chance I had breast cancer. It would be 3-5 days before I would get my biopsy results.

This was a Friday. The next several days dragged by as I mentally went through every possibility. I was not scared of the possibly mastectomy. I knew I could handle that. I was more worried about my family and the tremendous impact this would have on them.

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I knew that if this biopsy did, in fact, come back malignant I was going to need all sorts of help with the kids. I knew I would miss out on so much with them. I would have so many appointments with oncology and plastic surgeons and further testing. There would be a possibility, because I was so young, that radiation or chemo may be necessary just to make sure they had got it all – after all, I had a lot of life left to live.

I would also need to refer out many of my upcoming clients because I would be out for about 6 weeks alone for the surgery and recovery. I pretty much stopped scheduling sessions that were more than 2 weeks out. (So if you’ve been waiting for an email response from me, this is why you haven’t received one). I was afraid to book further out because I didn’t know what the remainder of 2020 looked like for me. I didn’t want to schedule all these sessions only to cancel them. An 80% chance wasn’t good and I didn’t want to commit to things I couldn’t do.

Several days later I received a call from the radiologist informing me that, to his complete surprise, the biopsy came back benign. I breathed a huge sigh of relief. He said that while he did believe the pathological findings, it still didn’t explain why my scans were showing what they were and that he wanted to do an MRI just to be certain and then we’d go from there. I got off that phone call with a 30-40% chance of cancer. I wasn’t out of the woods yet, but he was cautiously optimistic.

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The next step was scheduling my MRI. I had to wait a couple weeks until it was the prime time for the MRI. I got that MRI done on Monday of this week. I left the hospital feeling optimistic, but guarded – after all, I didn’t think any of this would ever happen. I didn’t want to get my hopes up.

This morning I received a phone call from my doctor saying that the MRI came back clear!!! He told me that he has no explanation for the way my breast looks, but that he is confident that I am cancer free. I have never been so relieved in my life! The past 6 weeks have been an absolute nightmare. I have had so many emotions and I have been praying so hard for good news. I am still so young and the last thing I want to battle right now is cancer. I want to be with my kids and I want to enjoy their childhood and I don’t want to miss a minute of it. Cancer takes away SO much and I didn’t want to fight that battle.

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Today showed me what the power of prayer can do. I only told a handful of people about what I was going through. Those people were so supportive and prayed so hard for me. I am so eternally grateful for them.

So, now I move forward. I have been in a holding pattern for the last month and half. I can now move forward and thank God for such a wonderful outcome.

Note: If you’ve been waiting for an email from me – IT’S COMING. Please be patient with me as I try to sift through sooo many emails. I will get everyone scheduled ASAP.

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Photos by my ever-talented friend, Cara Althaus.

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