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.
Lynn
10/6/2011 08:56:18

Shayla, I want you to know you are right on in your thoughts. Isn't it funny how our trials can be our greatest blessings!

Love ya,

Lynn

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Juana
10/6/2011 10:22:20

I'm so proud of you. I'm so glad you're a part of our family and God chose you for Chris. The way you are handling this horrible terrifying experience is inspiring. God is shining through you. I'm proud to call you one of my children.
I love you,
Juana

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buffy
10/6/2011 20:44:04

Im so glad your prayers were answered with good news! your faith is a shining example for us all! prayers for u and chris..may God hold your hand through this! Love ya

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Susan Hayes
10/6/2011 21:19:50

Shayla,
Your writings are absolutely amazing and inspiring! You are causing my love for our God to grow even as I watch yours mature! You are showing us all how to rejoice when we suffer! What an incredible woman of God you are!
I love you much!
Susan

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Lisa Weatherly
10/7/2011 08:30:50

Shayla-
You are so brave and inspiring. I know there are tough days but your faith and spirit will get you through. I think of you often and am so truly touched by your writing. Keep strong.
Much love coming your way from the Metroplex.
Love you!
Lisa

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Syd Sexton
10/7/2011 14:09:15

Shayla, I love you! You have been in my thoughts and prayers. I pray God's hand on all of you through this. Thank you for glorifying Him in your storm. Many blessings your way!!!

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Kyla Muns
10/8/2011 16:59:16

Shayla, YOU are amazing. And you still make me laugh. :) I hate that you are having to go through this, but I love your outlook and the way that you are being such a light to us all. And, I LOVE the fact that you are excited about getting you some implants! Lol! I'm praying for you every day...
Love ya

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Deanne hall
10/8/2011 19:18:47

Shayla,
Randy and I are thinking of you and praying for you, Chris, and Bryn. You're faith is so inspirational.
We love you guys!
Deanne

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Darcie Milsow
10/9/2011 17:25:53

Shayla,
It was great to read your blog and put a face to your name. Your family is beautiful. :-) I lift you and your family up to our sweet and gracious Lord. I know he will protect you and carry you through this battle in His arms. Stay strong and positive, but also let your feelings out. Don't bottle them up! A good cry is very therapuetic. I don't know what your chemo will be like, but take your anti nausea meds like clockwork. If you have a metallic taste in your mouth I found that plastic utensils helped and Lifesaver peppermints are great. Be sure to get lots of rest. I thought I was just being lazy until my husband said that me resting lets the drugs do their job. So even though I feel like a lazy bum I am actually and literally fighting for my life. I would love to take you to lunch and meet you. You seem like a precious person and someone I would love to befriend. Prayers for you. Lots of love,
Darcie Milsow

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TK
10/9/2011 19:39:53

"WONDERFUL!!!!" Can't you just hear my Mom saying that to all of your wonderful news??? I can!!! I am SOOOO glad your scans came back clear! Thank you Shay for your words of wisdom! You faith is very moving to me, and I can feel God's presence in your words!! WOW! Thank you so much for sharing! God is GOOD!!! You and your sweet family remain in my prayers!!!! Love ya!

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Cheryl Weatherly
10/9/2011 22:51:25

Shayla,
Almost every day something makes me think of you and your little family. I pray for you and yours to have more blessings to come than you could ever count or imagine. God is faithful and so proud you are his. Holding you up in my prayers.

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10/10/2011 10:32:49

Hi Shayla! Praying, praying, praying for you daily! I cannot thank you enough for reaching out to my beautiful sister as you two brave women fight your fights! Please contact me anytime if there is anything I can do for you...seriously. God Bless you Shayla, KOKO (keep on keepin on)!

Andee

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Connie
10/10/2011 10:35:40

I am praising God for His awesome Power and Great Love!! He has had to hit me over the head with a 2x4 more times than I care to admit to get my attention back on Him. Prayers will be offered up for you and everyone you come in contact with during the weeks and months ahead. What an awesome God and what a testimony you are!

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Karen Floyd
10/10/2011 14:21:22

Hi Shayla,
You don't know me but I went to school with your mom and dad. I read on Facebook about the fight you are starting and I want you to know that I will lift you up in prayer daily. Our God is awesome and he will be with you through it all. Reading your posts, I can see that you are a strong Christian. Your words are truly amazing. Blessings to you and your family.
Karen

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Linda Hall
10/11/2011 14:41:37

Well my dear. You are a very wise lady and you always did know God had your back. He will always hear your prayers, big of small. His praise is what he waits for and we are all praising Him for the gifts you have received this week. Our prayers are a daily part of our lives and you are in ours. My family lifts you up to Him for GRACE AND PEACE. Our love Linda and Jim

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Susan
10/12/2011 14:00:15

Hello all. I am a friend of Shayla's. We are selling red rubber bracelets that say "Pray for Shayla" and Phil 4:13 for donations of $3 or more to benefit Shayla in this journey. PLEASE email me if you would like one! colesuz520@sbcglobal.net

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The Loflins
10/13/2011 09:37:22

Hello Shayla, All I can think of to say right now is WOW! You are so strong and your words are so inspirational. Your faith and your strength are truly amazing. You are in our thoughts are prayers ALWAYS! We love you!

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Diann Rose
10/14/2011 23:26:12

Shayla,
Just wanted to let you know that we are all praying for you and your family. We are also praying for your doctors. Keep your good attitude and keep your trust in God.
Love you,
Diann

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Amy Boyd
10/15/2011 10:57:45

Wow, You are an amazing person, always have been!! I admire your faith and courage. You and your family will be in my prayers!! Keep the faith.....oh and "put that in your book"...lol, that goes way, way back!

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Marion Thompson
10/15/2011 23:12:17

Shayla we are prayinh for you

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Gene & Delorise Shrauner
10/16/2011 17:46:13

Shayla, we are so proud of you for the way you are handling this crossroad in your life. We are praying for you and your family. You are in out thoughts every day. If there is ANYTHING either of us can do for you or Chris or Brenley. please let us know. We love you.

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Darcie Milsow
10/17/2011 18:48:35

Shayla,
If i remember correctly you have surgery this week. I am praying for you and your doctor for total peace and for God to guide the doctors and nurses to a successful surgery. I would love to meet you and visit with you. I would love to briing something to the hospital to lift your spirits. Is it day surgery or will you have to stay a few nights? I am sure you are anxious. GOd has this. He will take care of you. He is the Great Physician. God bless you. You and your family are still in my daily prayers.
Love to you,
Darcie

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The Gehring's
10/17/2011 22:53:10

May the peace of God rest upon your heart Shayla in this time of trial. He is with you.

We'll be praying for you.

Reid and Natasha

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Sharon Mills
10/17/2011 22:58:03

Shayla,
I will be lifting you and your whole family up in prayer tomorrow as you go through surgery and recovery. I pray for successful surgery and a quick recovery. Blessings to all of you.
Sharon Mills

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Janet Buckley Claborn
11/9/2011 10:28:18

Shayla,
You are amazing! An inspiration to everyone. I so admire the faith and courage you and Chris have. You have helped me to increase my faith and I am so thankful. You and your family continue to be in my thoughts and my prayers to God for Him to give you peace, comfort and healing. Much love.........janet

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