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.