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Friday the 13th

April 13, 2018

Because it’s late, I’ll get right to it – Dr. G called me today. The pathology report came back and it wasn’t what they had hoped for. The breast contained multiple masses, and 4 of 5 lymph nodes contained some cancer. I already felt like we had made the right decision (mastectomy) regardless of what they might find, but this confirms it.

Dr. G was really surprised about the lymph nodes. (I am tired of surprising doctors with how sneaky and ambitious my cancer is.) She recommends radiation, which I knew would be the case if there were more nodes involved. She’ll make an appointment with a radiation oncologist soon. Dr. Z was also at the tumor board this morning. We’ll find out his recommendations on Monday.

I was standing in Home Depot when she called me. I had told myself several times this week that even though things sounded good, there was still a possibility that it could go the other way, so I wasn’t as shocked like I had been in the past. I got off the phone and told Christine who was with me and then called Jonathan to tell him.

Then a little while later the fear started to creep in. The realization that it’s never going to be an open and close case like I wanted. The wondering whether we were always going to be a step or two behind the cancer. The disappointment that reconstruction isn’t my next or biggest concern. What is it going to take for me to get rid of this cancer once and for all?

A few minutes later, my parents met us there. They are going to plant our garden for us this year and were there to buy some supplies. We told them the news and we all cried together. It’s so disappointing.

We came home and were met by two good friends who had come to visit. The girls were off with different friends so we were able to talk and be sad and mad. We got the pathology report and all took turns reading it. There are so many questions – are the other masses more of the same? More of the old stuff? What about the stuff in my nodes? It’s so much more complex than any I’ve seen before because it’s dealing with so much more tissue. I wasn’t able to get anything helpful out of it, so I’ve committed myself to waiting until Dr. Z can explain it all on Monday.

I’m able to take some comfort in the clear PET scan I got just over a month ago, but even that is a little shaky right now. This cancer continues to surprise everyone, and that scares me.

In case you’re wondering why I was at Home Depot… Yesterday I made my second non-doctor outing since surgery. Over the last year (or five), we’ve been gradually repairing and painting/decorating our house. We have finally gotten to the front of the house (some windows had to be replaced) and the living room and front room. So while Christine is here and I don’t have to text her a million photos of paint squares on the wall, we wanted to get these remaining colors nailed down. So over the last two days, we’ve gone twice and gotten 11 paint samples. Both outings were pretty much all I could do for the day, but it does feel really nice to be doing something normal.

I’m so grateful for all the people who are helping/allowing/forcing me to take it easy. For all the people who have picked the girls up from school and brought them home worn out from so much fun. For the people who drop off food so none of us have to think about cooking. It’s all been so good.



I haven’t had much time to process all of this, but even as I write this I am reminded that a God who is faithful in the details of playdates and little kids is also the same God who will guide us through each treatment. I know that a huge part of the struggle in the next days will be in not letting my mind go to places created by fear. Not following those worst case scenarios trails that lead to despair. To focus on what is true and not worry about what we don’t know. To be hopeful.

I’ll continue to update as we get more info.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Ashley Broadrick permalink
    April 14, 2018 14:21

    I am so sad and so sorry to hear this for you. Will continue to
    Pray for you as you process and move forward.

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