You know I never asked to get cancer. I never asked to have a double mastectomy. I never asked to have 3-4 more surgeries in the future. I never wanted chemotherapy or radiation. I never wanted any of this, but then I have stop and think. First of all, I'm not the first or the last person that will ever go through cancer or any of the other yucky diseases out there. Second, you can always find something good to come out of something really bad. Lastly and most important, Jesus never asked to live a life of constant insecurities and hard times and then die a cruel death on that cross for us. Sometimes life doesn't go our way and we have to carry some heavy burdens just like Jesus did along his path, but we have to remind ourselves that it could always be worse and it is all for a great cause - GOD! He never leaves us or forsakes us through anything in life that we have to endure. Yesterday was kinda a crazy day that really was unexpected. On Thursday I decided, after consulting with my work friends during a visit to them, to call Dr. Arredondo to report some significant swelling on the left side of my upper chest and axilla (armpit). It has been swollen all along but it seemed to be expanding like a balloon more and more each day. His nurse called me back and told me to come in first thing Friday morning to let him look at it. Chris and I went at 8 am, and Dr. A told us that I had a seroma under my arm. This is just any cavity that the body decides to fill with fluid after something like trauma or surgery. I was always wondering why the cancer side (left) had way less drainage out of the drain than the right side. Dr. Arredondo said that Dr. Proffer would want to see me to aspirate that fluid out since he did the plastic surgery on it. Before we were sent to meet Dr. Proffer at Quail Creek Hospital to do so, Dr. A gave us the summary of the path report from surgery. From all we had known everything went as expected except that they had taken 11 lymph nodes to check them for cancer instead of just 2-3. Dr. Arredondo actually took 12 lymph nodes (3 sentinel nodes and 9 axillary nodes) and 2 of the 3 sentinel nodes had micromets or cancer in them. Then, we were told some surprising news after that. When they peel back the whole breast area off the muscles deep to them to take it out, they get some of the fascia (I tell my patient's it's like saran wrap) off the muscle. My cancer was not in the deep muscles but a small area had been found on the fascia that they removed. This means that just like in the lymph nodes, the cancer was trying to take its yucky self out of that area and into other areas. Praise God that is as far as it got before they removed it (again a positive thing to focus on). Dr. Arredondo said that because of this I would need radiation after chemo to make sure this doesn't come back.
I don't think I had mentioned on the last post that Peggy Smith, nurse navigator from Harrington Cancer Center, had called and told me that I have an appt with Dr. Pruitt, my oncologist, on Nov. 7th. We talked about things and again with my young age, BRCA 2 gene, and the fact that it had moved into 2 lymph nodes they had decided that I for sure needed chemo (without the ONCO testing being done). We all agreed that we want the best odds of kicking this thing's butt and never letting it come back. We will discuss at that visit which chemo drugs we will be using, how long it will last, and when we will start. We have to coordinate with Dr. Arredondo again to get a day surgery date to put my chemo port in the right side of my chest. Right now I can't fathom another surgery to make me even more sore than I am already. Got to do what you got to do, right?
Back to yesterday's story. Chris and I headed straight over to the hospital after Dr. A's office to meet Dr. Proffer. We were whisked away to a room in the back and Dr. Proffer looked at the swelling. I told him when I woke up that morning that drain was completely empty which was weird. He began pushing pretty hard on that area and then asked me to lay down on this hospital bed. He apologized for the amount of pressure that he had to put on my chest and armpit, but I told him that it was pretty numb still. Then, the weirdest thing ever happened. When he gave the first hard push, all that fluid that was stuck in that area suddenly and loudly rushed towards my breast area and sternum. It felt so crazy and all I heard from Chris was "Whoa, oh my goodness!!!". Chris described it as looking like an alien had suddenly appeared in my chest. I sat up after that and he kept pushing on all these areas. Suddenly I felt drainage dripping down my left side near my drain exit and the drain started going crazy. Finally, all that was coming out! Dr. Proffer said that I must have had a little blood clot that was blocking it from getting to the drain. That solved that problem and it looks so much better. Simple solutions to simple problems (one of my favorite phrases to Chris' dismay!). We left there laughing, but I left there really sore from all the pushing.
We had a great rest of the day hanging out together and then picking up Bren from daycare to build a snowman. Then, we met up with Brandon, Karen, Taylor, and Addison Mason (Karen Tallant for those from Canyon) to go eat at Chili's on Coulter and walked next door to the Lowe's parking lot to see the hot air balloons. They have something called Pirates of the Canyon each year with hot air balloon activities. It was suppose to be at the park across the street but because of the recent snow and it melting, it got moved to the Lowe's parking lot. I didn't stay out there long because I quickly figured out that me and the cold do not get along these days. You know when you get cold and start shivering and your muscles tighten up. This is amplified in me right now, so when I get cold my pectoral muscles, that are already so tight, go into spasms. This is not fun, so I did not take a short lift off ride on the hot air balloons with the guys and the kids (minus Brenley because she was so scared of them - she thought they would fall on her and hated the loud noise they made when they glow-funny!). We had a great time at dinner except for the disappointment of the Rangers losing the World Series again this year. Oh well, they did good this year and we're proud of them still. We have to get excited about something considering the Dallas Cowboys are so up and down and haven't done good in several years. So I guess in the next few weeks, we will talk about port placement, chemo starting, and when they will finally release me back to work (although I am thoroughly enjoying my extra time with my precious husband and daughter). Dr. Proffer had told us that we can continue to put more fluid in the expanders as planned but then we will have to stop the surgery plans until after chemo and radiation are finished. This is because of the possible side effects of the radiation on the skin area and reconstruction. Chemo will probably be 2-5 months depending on how many meds they need to do, and radiation will be Mon-Fri for 5-6 weeks (only 15 mins sessions). This extends my timeline quite a bit for everything, but I'm not letting that get me down. That just makes me fight harder. Look on the bright side, if I get chemo and radiation (and probabaly take tamoxifen for 5 yrs) then my odds are that much less that it will come back. My body may be a wreck, but I'll have more time with all of you. Praise God for that and always. My advise this time is to always look for the the bright spot in a day when it only seems dark and dreary because that bright spot will give you the hope and faith you need that tomorrow will be a beautiful and sunny day. Love y'all. Shay
So I rode with Chris this morning to his yearly physical at Amarillo Family Physicians' office for the Fire Department at 8:15 am. Then, I walked next door to Dr. Proffer's office for my first post-op visit with him at 9:15 am. I'll admit I decided to break down a few days ago and take off my bandages to readjust them and do some scratching of areas that were driving me crazy. I decided that it was better to look at the damage on my own time than to be surprised by it at the doctor's office. I guess it was about what I had pictured in my head to be with large incisions down the middle of the chest from the sternum area towards the axilla (armpit) on each side. They are covered in steri strips. Dr. Proffer said that they could only put 100 cc of fluid in the expanders because my skin was really tight with just this amount. He says it is because I'm not overweight or he could of put more. I told him it was probably because there wasn't much skin or anything there before I had the surgery. We had a little laugh about that. I guess there is one plus to being small chested before the surgery because then you don't see that much of a difference after surgery. I just keep having to tell myself that this area will look much different down the road. He thinks in the next few weeks we can add more fluid to the expanders and continue to do so until time to replace them with implants. They looked at the drain logs I have been keeping and decided that we could take out one from each side of my trunk. That leaves one on each side still. They want me to call on Thursday to report how these are doing. If they get down below 30 mL of drainage for 24 hours, they can remove those too. I will be glad to get rid of that baggage. I really don't have much more news than that for today, but it was sure good to get out of the house for the first time. Chris and I actually ran a couple of errands after the visits, and then I was pretty tired. We headed home and watched a movie together on the couch while trying not to fall asleep. So overall it was a good day. I'm down to only my antibiotics and the hydrocodone pills as needed. I'm trying not to take the pain meds too often, and I'm doing pretty good with this. I don't like taking meds if I don't have to. Other than spending hours on thank you cards, I continue to enjoy reading my Bible on my used Nook I bought from my friend with my birthday money. I had downloaded the Life Application Bible like the one I have at home, which has the commentaries at the bottom, and I love it. Sometimes the things I read I have a hard time understanding fully, so it's good to have an explanation of those. God has really been teaching me new things in scriptures that I have read before but now have different meaning to me in my current circumstances. I find myself trying to eliminate distractions around me like the t.v. or wondering thoughts to try to really focus on the words I'm reading. That's hard for me because my mind seems to always be thinking about the next thing I need to do, so I'm praying for God to help me focus on the task at hand and not to worry about things to come. I find myself enjoying each day rather than wasting my time worrying about tomorrow or the months or years to come. We have no control over that anyway, so why concern ourselves with it. Give it to God and let him do the worrying for us. My advice for you today is to take time for God. We would take time to spend with our earthly best friend if they asked, so why would we not want to devote time to our ultimate best friend - God our father. He cares about every small detail in each of our lives and he will never turn his back on us or stop loving us. The last thing I ask of each of you is to pray for my friend Darcie Milsow, who is bravely fighting colon cancer. She is a precious, Christian woman with a great husband and 3 sweet children. Some of you may know her because her family is from Canyon. God is working in her life as well to help her win her battle with her cancer, but like me she can use all the prayers she can get. I pray for complete healing for her and I know God can do this. Thank you for caring for me and my family and for lifting people in need up in prayer daily. God bless and love y'all. Shayla
We'll it's almost 7 am on Friday morning, and I've been up since 6 am. Chris and I have to wake up throughout the night to empty the 4 drains and to take a mix of different meds. I'm not going to lie, I had to break down and call Dr. Proffer's office to discuss pain management with them. They had given me hydrocodone that I was taking every 6 hours, but the problem was that I couldn't keep my pain down at that interval. Also, I'm taking valium for muscle spasms but I'm still getting those too. They aren't as bad as they were before however. I guess all that is just par for the course, but it still stinks. They called me in a new pain med that is stronger, and it seems to be helping more. I tried to start off in my bed last night and made it until about 2 a.m. before I moved to the couch. Then, I was off and on sleeping the rest of the night. You know I thought I was a tough cookie before I had this surgery, especially after having major back surgery, but this has been kicking my butt. I'm hoping that each day will get a little better.
Yesterday Peggy Smith, nurse navigator with Harrington Cancer Center, called to tell me about pathology reports from surgery specimens. She said that the hard lump that I had found originally was still GRADE (not stage) 3 and was about 2.7 cm. Then, there were actually 2 non-invasive areas under this area that they removed. They were able to get clear margins around all of the masses. Dr. Arredondo was originally going to take 2-3 lymph nodes to test them but they decided to go ahead and take more (11 to be exact). Out of the 11, only 2 had some micro calcifications or whatever word she used in them. This means that it had begun to go into the lymph nodes slightly but not too far. She still doesn't think I will need radiation though. She hasn't sent off the cancer for that ONCO testing yet because Dr. Pruitt will be back in office on Monday. She wants to talk with him and also coordinate with Dr. Arredondo about everything and see if we are just going to do chemo. If that is the case, there is not need to send it off for ONCO testing because that was going to just tell us if we needed chemo or not. I think they want to probably do chemo since it had gotten into those 2 nodes. Anyway, I'm just glad to be cancer free at this time regardless of the brutal cost I had to go through to get there.
I took my first bath last night with very little water to wash my lower half. Chris helped me with the upper half, and then we went to guest bathroom for me to lean over so I could wash my hair. It felt so good to do that after not getting to for several days. My chest area has been draining pretty good through those drains but seems to be slowing down some. I have a lot of numb areas expecially on the left side of my chest, under my armpit (axilla for you medical people), and down the backside of my left arm to my elbow. Peggy said some of this should come back. I haven't been brave enough to take off the ace wraps and padding they have in place. It makes me feel safe like having a breast shield, and it is serving as compression to the area. I'm not going to lie about this either, but I'm not sure I want to see what is under there. I may wait until Monday when I go to Dr. Proffer's office to see it. I need to mentally prepare some for that still. Anyway, thanks to everyone that came up to the hospital on Tuesday while I was in surgery. I heard it was a very large crowd and I know that Chris and my family really appreciated it. People have already been bringing us meals, which is such a blessing since I barely get off the couch these days, Thank you for that. Please call, text, or come by if you want. I know many people said they wanted to do this but were hesitant to do so. I don't mind company or talking to friends or family. Hopefully today will be a better day. God is healing me each day and continues to be the center of my thoughts and prayers since he is my strength through this. I've enjoyed spending more time with him daily. God bless. Shay
There is another update below this one that I did on Wednesday if you haven't read it.
So I don't remember a lot about them taking me back for surgery yesterday. but I do remember waking up in recovery to a lot of pain and horrible muscles spasms in my pectoral muscles and in my back. They gave me some meds and then I woke up in my regular room. Oh course, as always, the anesthesia meds make me very nauseated. I got sick right when I got to my room and then felt like I was on the edge of vomiting all day. I was in and out of sleep or dozing off many times. I was in no shape for a lot of visitors. My parents said I looked pale and they could all tell that I was in serious pain. I couldn't even think about laying back or even moving, for that matter, without the serious spasms hitting me. I'm not going to lie, it almost brought tears to my eyes. I feel like I'm a pretty tough girl with all the surgeries I've had in the past, but this surgery ranks up there with the hardest ones. Needless to say, but I had a very bad day after surgery. Chris and I tried to sleep in our hospital room but couldn't except for short periods of time between someone coming in to empty the four tubes in my or to take vitals. At around 3 am, I got up with Chris and we walked the halls for about 10 mins so I could get out of my bed for a few minutes. I just can't hardly get comfortable when I try to lay down. I was glad for it to be morning time because I could finally eat something other than crackers. Although those saltine crackers were the best I had ever tasted after I got over the nausea. I took several more walks today around hospital to visit with friends. They gave me the option of staying at the hospital another night but I felt like I can do what they were doing with me at my comfortable house. Dr. Arredondo and Dr. Proffer both came by to see me this am. Dr. Proffer told me I would follow up with him next Monday and maybe get the four drains out depending on how much they are draining still. He also said today was a good day because the cancer cannot hurt me anymore. Dr. Arredondo came by next, and I asked him about cancer removal details. He said everything went good and that he didn't think the cancer had gone to my lymph nodes and that the margins appeared clear. They won't know for sure until they run tests on the 3 lymph nodes. Those results should be back in a few days. The cancer itself is being sent off for ONCO testing, which will take around 2-3 wks. I felt pretty good when I got home but my meds had definitely worn off. Chris went to get my prescriptions and believe me I took them ASAP when they got here. Now, I'm just winding down and very drowsy, so I think I will hit the hay. Thanks for everyone's throughts, prayers, and concerns lately. They help me to stay positive throughout this storm. Also, thank you so much God for guiding the doctors during the surgery and for the wonderful nurses I had while being in the hospital. God has continued to carry me through this process, and I know that each day will be better than the last. God bless. Shay
Hello to all, this is Chris, Shayla's husband. I am writing to let you guys know that Shayla had her surgery this morning, and at this time is in a recovery room recovering from her successful surgery. The doctor came out and let us all know that everything went very well. The cancer has been removed, and along with a couple of lymph nodes, will be sent off for testing to determine what type of and/or if chemo is needed. We thank you all so much for your prayers. We have felt them throughout this process. I know that we have a long road ahead of us, but I do feel like our prayers have been answered. He guided the surgeons' hands this morning and will continue to guide us through the remainder of this process. Please continue to pray for Shayla as she recovers and enters the next phase of this battle. We praise God for each of you and know that your prayers are being heard.
Thank you all and God Bless,
So I'm sitting here in my bed at 11:15 pm, and tomorrow morning is surgery day. Many people have asked me if I'm that scared about it being here, but the truth is that I'm really grateful that it is finally here. I had my biopsy over a month and a half ago without anyone doing anything about my cancer except doctors appointments and planning. I'm just really ready for it to be over and for the cancer to get out of me. I can't say that I'm that nervous yet because I've been really busy over the last week getting insurance stuff ready, pre-admitting, having lymph node mapping (today), and getting everything around my house in order. If you know me, you know I have a hard time sitting still. I can always find something that needs me to mess with it. LOL! I think maybe that is again why God put this in my path to slow me down. After the surgery, I think I finally will. I plan to rest as much as I can so I can heal properly. So the plan for in the morning is that Chris and I will arrive at the hospital at 7 am to get ready for surgery. It is planned to start around 9:30 am or as soon as Dr. Arredondo gets to Northwest. Dr. Proffer's office called today and said that he will be there at that time too, but his part will start around 10:30 am. The total surgery time will be 3-4 hours, all of which Chris will spend fighting his nerves. I ask that everyone pray for Chris and my family and friends that they will be strong and know that God has everything under control (AND I MEAN EVERYTHING). Also, please ask that God give me overwhelming peace about the whole procedure from start to finish and that he will take care of my every need including pain control. I KNOW that God is good at all times and that in times when we feel vulnerable and overwhelmed he picks us up and carries us through it. If he didn't do that, how in the world could we face these very hard circumstances? We couldn't. I guess I'm an old pro at this surgery thing because this will be my 11th surgery. I just hate anesthesia recovery because I tend to get nauseated, and everyone knows I would rather do anything but vomit. Not fun at all. Lastly, I ask prayers for Dr. Arredondo, Dr. Proffer, the nurses, and all the other medical staff that will take care of me. I pray that they will have the knowledge and positive attitudes to encourage me along the way. I should only be in the hospital one night if everything goes as planned, which I believe it will. One more thing that I want to mention tonight before hitting the pillow is that we can't say thank you enough for the amazing turnout Saturday for the benefit cookout at the part. Thank you so much to Lifestar (esp. Claudette and Becky) for all the time and efforts put into planning it and making it a hit. Thank you to the Amarillo Fire Department and especially Tracy and Kevin McLeland for selling the fundraiser bracelets and coming out to support Chris and I. We already feel that y'all are family to us. Also, thank you to all our friends and family that drove from out of town and around here to come support us. The food was amazing, and Chris and I enjoyed seeing and talking to as many of you guys as we could. Sorry if we didn't get around to you that day. We appreciate every dollar that was graciously donated to our family to help with the many medical costs that may come our way. We thank God that he is taking care of us through those donations and that you all were willing to come and donate your hard earned money. It is such a blessing to us and will continue to be in the future for our monetary needs in this. Please know that it will be spent wisely. Ok, so Chris will attempt to post a blog tomorrow after I get done with surgery to update you on how everything went and what the doctors say to him. I know everyting will be great and thank you for all your thoughts and prayers today, tomorrow, and every day to come. You all give me such strength and increase my faith through your faith in our wonderful God. See you on the flip side.
Today has been an amazing day. Appointments that I had planned for this week got switched to different times and days, so I did my bone scan yesterday and my CT scans this morning. All of our prayers were answered because they all came back negative for metastises. You can't imagine the weight that was lifting off my shoulders from this good news. Thanks again to everyone for your fervent prayers daily, but most of all thank you God, our heavenly father, for beginning the healing on me. I firmly believe in sudden miracles but I also believe that God works through ALL situations. He may plan to take this cancer out of me through this way, but he may also be taking me through a longer route to test my obedience to him throughout this trial in my life.
I told someone the other day that I had forgotten often to include God in the little things in my life. It's easy when times are tough to ask for God's help or guidance, but we forget that he wants to be involved in everything we do every day. If God only took us down the easy path all the time, we would feel like we didn't need his help and that we could do it on our own. Our pride (and control issues in my case) often times gets in the way of feeling like we need God's help, but then God throws us a curve ball to remind us that we will strike out every time without him. I'm pretty hard-headed. Ok, let's be frank, I'm really hard-headed (ask Chris). I, like most women and mothers, think that I have everything under control, and I seem to find some kind of joy and sense of accomplishment in multitasking everyday to get everything done. I work hard and often to try to make more money to pay things off or do the things that I would like to do. This sometimes comes at the expense of missing out on spending time with Chris, Bren, or family. But you do what you got to do, right? No, this is not the case at all. God knew that I needed to slow down and focus on the things in life that really matter and most importantly that is him. If we don't put him at the top, this life can really become overwhelming and mundane. I know that God does not like to see us suffer, but he also knows that it takes things like this sometimes to open a hard-headed person's eyes like mine and put them back on him. This has not only made me realize how much I need him every second of every day, but it has made me understand his unfailing love and devotion to caring for each of us personally. I have seen God is such a different light that I have never seen him in before not only from what he has been doing in my life but through all of you that have been praying and supporting me so much through your faith in him. I know God has been holding my hand and walking me through this from the day he brought me to my knees and broke me down physically, spiritually, and emotionally. The reason I know this is because I have felt his presence through the peace and strength he has given me in a time when I felt my weakest and most vulnerable. I pray for each of you that it doesn't take something like cancer to wake you up spiritually and to make you realize that God seeks you daily. He loves each of you and cares about you more than you'll ever know. Our God is good in all things, and I never again want to take this for granted. Thank you for letting me get that off my chest and for wanting to take this journey with me and my family.
OK back to medical updates. My surgery is scheduled for October 18th (Tues). It will start at 9 am and last around 3 to 4 hours. Dr. Arredondo, surgical oncologist, will start working on the cancer side (left) to do the mastectomy while Dr. Proffer, plastic surgeon, starts on the right side. When Arredondo gets done with the left, Dr. Proffer will then do the expander placement on that one too. Both sides will be taken as mastectomies. Again this is because I carry the BRCA2 gene and I'm young, so this makes my odds really high that the cancer will return if we don't do this. Dr. Proffer explained at my consultation with him yesterday that he will basically move part of my pectoralis muscle up and place something call acellular matrix along the bottom and outside of each breast. This matrix helps the body not only build a blood supply back to this area, but it also helps it regenerate it's own structural support for each breast. Then, he will place an expander in that pocket formed between the two. This will slowly stretch the skin to get it ready for implants. These expanders will be filled every few weeks with more fluid at his office. Three months after this major surgery, I will have a much easier surgery to replace the expanders with implants. Then, 3 months after this I will have some touch up work in another minor surgery. He says that breast reconstruction has come such a long way and that I should be really pleased with the outcome. Chris had gone with me to see Dr. Proffer and he asked before if I was nervous. I told him "no" because this was the good part that comes after the cancer is taken out. Also, after having many doctors visits where cancer was the key word and focus, it was a nice break to talk about something else like breast implants. LOL! Anyway, I feel really good about the upcoming surgeries and the physicians that I have in place. I feel that God opened doors to get me into these doctors for a reason. Please continue to be praying for the upcoming surgery and recovery, but also for the hands of the doctors and nurses that take care of me during this time. Another prayer request is for my sweet husband, Chris, who has been taking such good care of me since this began. He is a rookie firefighter here in Amarillo. He was scheduled to work the day of my surgery, and this was also the day of his seven month skills test and written exam. They take two tests in their rookie year that they have to pass to move on. He has been working so hard to study and to be successful at his job. He also loves being a firefighter, which makes me so happy. They are going to let him take his test on the 14th so he can be with me on surgery day (which is so nice of them). I ask that you pray for Chris to do well on his testing because he has had a lot on his plate lately to worry about. I know God will provide. Please know that your prayers are felt and so appreciated. Thanks to each of you that have sent cards and notes to encourage us, and a very special thank you to those that have been graciously donating through the bracelet sales, benefit fund, and in cards to support us financially. You don't know what a blessing that is when the medical bills keep coming. I want ya'll to know that this money is going towards doctors' bills, genetic testing, surgeries and other medical expenses and that it is so appreciated. God bless all of you! Love ya'll. Shay
P.S. Happy Birthday to my sweet Dad who I love so, so much. Your faith in God is amazing and has been such an influence in my walk with him. You're amazing.
So we thought that we were headed for chemo treatments first based on last week's visit with Dr. Arredondo, but Dr. Pruitt, my onlcologist, decided another route. I will actually have surgery first to do the mastectomy on both sides to get rid of the cancer with Dr. Arredondo. In the same surgery, Dr. Proffer, my plastic surgeon, will do the reconstruction on each side. I meet with Dr. Proffer for the first time this Wednesday at 9:30 am. In the mean time, Dr. Pruitt called and spoke with Dr. Arredondo about getting the surgery scheduled soon. The surgery will be a full mastectomy on both sides with a few lymph nodes being taken on the left to make sure they are not cancerous. We will just have to coordinate between both the surgeons to find a date that is good for everyone. Tues morning I have a full body bone scan to do, and then Wed. before I go to Dr. Proffer I will have a CT scan of my chest, abdomen, and pelvis. This will reassure me and the physicians that the cancer is just in my left breast. Please pray that this will be the case. Dr. Pruitt called the breast cancer STAGE II at this time. He wants to do the surgery first in my case so that we can send it off for further genetic testing called ONCO testing. This will basically give them a better understanding of my cancer and my future risks of recurrence. That test will take about 2 weeks to complete. I will see Dr. Pruitt 4 weeks after my surgery to go over these results. Depending on how probable the cancer is to return in another part of my body will determine the treatment plan. I would only do radiation if the lymph nodes were involved. If my risk is low, I may only have surgery and tamoxifen. If my risk, on the other hand, is higher then I will have to have chemo treatments for awhile. He also didn't want to start with chemo because if for some reason I didn't need it based on these tests, we would have put me through that for nothing. I also spoke with him on the possibility of having another child just to see if there was some way. He told me that there is still a 50/50 chance of being able to do this based on a lot of factors. We will discuss this further when we meet up again. I guess I can say that this was the route I was actually hoping for instead of the chemo first mostly just to give me peace of mind knowing that they had taken that "crap" out of me! I continue to feel like I am in great hands not only by the great physician, God, but with my medical staff at each clinic. The staff at the Harrington Cancer Center couldn't have been nicer than they were today, and I feel blessed that God led me down this path to them. Please continue to pray for healing and for a quick process to get this surgery done. I want to thank each of you that have been writing those comments on my blogs. I want you to know that I would love to write a response to each of your messages, but I would be on the computer for ever by doing this. Just know that I do check my blog often and that I am so appreciative of your encouragement. It means so much to me. As requested, I was asked by several people to mention the fundraiser that the Lifestar Leap team has organized on October 15th at John Stiff Park (gazebo) for Chris and I. Please know that I am not pushing people to go or donate because I know God is going to take care of us financially one way or another, but some people wanted more info on it. It is from 1-6 pm and there will be a band and barbeque. They are asking for people to sign up to bring sides and desserts. If anyone wants to do so, Claudette Simpson said to call or text her at (806) 517-0271 to let her know. It sounds like fun, and we are humbled by the fact that they are organizing something so sweet for us. We are so blessed. Thank you for your ongoing support everyone! It really makes a difference. God bless. Love ya'll - Shay