ETA: One final image at the end of the post. Slideshow coming soon!
The words for this blog aren’t coming easily for me. I’ve had the opportunity to watch this wonderful family interact a couple times now, as well as touched base with someone who’s looking out for Mom, and I’m continuously inspired by her strength, grace and faith as she begins a terribly scary journey. I’ve been granted permission to share some of their story with you, but feel like it isn’t right to say too much about their situation, thus why the words haven’t come easily. What I will tell you is that Mom has been faced with aggressive breast cancer. You’ll see she looks healthy, and is a gorgeous, graceful woman. She’s started an aggressive treatment schedule and wants to share more of her story with you over time.
In the meantime…before she began her surgeries and treatments, someone gifted the family a photo session…thus how I came to know A. She quickly became a friend and her kids quickly became friends with our kids…making it so fun to spend time together. I was also blessed to meet A’s neighbor, who has just finished her own treatment for breast cancer and is in remission (YAY!!) and quickly became a fabulous cheerleader for A. It was seriously cool to sit and be with the two of them as they talked. The love, the support, the compassion, the….idk…grace? was almost touchable and for sure overwhelming.
Enough words though….here are some of their images from their family session…hopefully these will be a sweet, sweet memory of a tough time and an eventual triumph for them. 🙂
H is really cool to his little sister…I’ve seen so many families where the older sibling just can’t be bothered, but he was fantastic with her. 🙂
To add a little more, from Miss A herself, and its straight from the horse’s er…email:
In October 2010 at the age of 36 I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. It was more devastating news. It was almost like i was having a bad dream and I just couldn’t wake up from it. My cancer diagnosis was triple negative, stage two, and I tested positive on my Braca Gene test. That in return meant that I had an 87% chance of having a recurrence in the other breast at any given time or it could turn to my ovaries giving me ovarian cancer, or both. I went for a first and second opinion after having mammogram’s, ultrasounds, multiple biopsies, cat scans, MRI scans, pet scans, and lots of blood work. The opinions of both medical institutions turned out to be the same diagnosis with identical treatment plans.
In January of 2011 I underwent a double mastectomy followed by immediate breast reconstruction. The tumor ended up being larger then what they had anticipated it to be and it had spread to the lining of my muscle. It had not though gone into any lymph nodes which was a relief. My treatment is as follows: Double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction, port placement surgery for delivery of chemo drugs, followed by 16 weeks of chemotherapy, followed by final reconstruction, followed by a a complete hysterectomy due to having triple negative breast cancer and testing gene positive.
I have endured the first chemo treatment. I survived. How I am not sure. I am having a lot of discomfort from my surgery and the most terrible anxiety I have ever experienced in my life. Sleepless nights and terrible stress. My doctors are working with me to try and get a handle on my nerves and how the chemo is taking a toll on my life. I never imagined feeling so out of control and so scared at any given time in my life considering all that i have been through. My world has been turned upside down. I plan on beating this disease with the help of my doctors, my family, my church, my friends, and whatever support groups I can get involved with.
My prayers are this; that i may learn to cast all my fears onto my savior Jesus Christ, that i will beat this disease, that i will be able to teach from this and help others that are in need of support, that i will be a better Christian, a better mother, a better friend, a better wife.
I still have a very long bumpy road ahead of me. My hair will fall out by next week and that is a day I cannot stop thinking about. It will be another hurdle to jump over but I guess it will be one more thing to cross off the list of future happenings. I hope that I can find strength through my Almighty God to endure and stay strong minded. That has been my biggest challenge thus far.
PS. I have to add one more of A’s images…this one just makes my heart swell up and break a little all at the same time…..
A’s hope is that someone, somewhere will get an early diagnosis, take better care of themself or that she’ll somehow be able to spare someone some of the pain of the experience. My hope, as a new friend, is that she’ll pull through with the same amazing attitude that I’ve seen so far and that she’ll find hope and comfort everywhere she turns. A, all my love for you. 🙂 You know where to find me and we’ll be checking in!