“Enjoy the day, pluck the day when it is ripe.” Was the much needed Word I got early yesterday morning.
I wrote my last post just before going to see my nutritionalist and Dr. Harriman and asked for prayer, “Pray that I will have favor with Dr. Harriman and he will agree to do the lumpectomy only as a first and prayerfully last step and that my appointment with the nutritionalist will also be filled with wisdom and peace. “
My appointment with the nutritionalist went very well and I believe we had the wisdom and peace that we prayed for. Mike was able to get off work a little early and go with me to my appointment with Dr. Harriman. I am so thankful because it went the opposite of what we had hoped.
When you are diagnosed with DCIS, you are basically given two options. The first being lumpectomy with radiation and a drug that you are required to take for 5 years called Tomoxifen. Dr. Harriman was with us in that he didn’t believe radiation and Tomoxifen were very good options. They both can have very bad, long term side effects.
Option two is to have a mastectomy or double mastectomy. The cool part is that you can have reconstructive surgery at the same time. The uncool part is that it’s a very long surgery 8 hrs. or longer, recovery can take 8 wks. or longer, sometimes the reconstruction doesn’t take, and if you are lucky, you will no longer have any feeling in your sad, scared “breast” because one third will have phantom pains. The worst part about having a mastectomy is that they want to take a few of your lymph nodes and this can cause lymphedema (swelling in your arm) that can last the rest of your life. There is the possibility that they could find an invasive cancer in your lymph nodes and will want you to take chemo “therapy.”
In response to our desire to do a lumpectomy only as a first step Dr. Harriman repeatedly said, “That is ABSOLUTELY the WRONG decision. If you were my wife, I would drag you kicking and screaming for a mastectomy.” I did like him and I don’t think I can say that seeing him was a mistake, so “Where does that leave me?”
I am not sure. If we decide to do a mastectomy, we will do it in Birmingham because they have better options there for reconstruction. Yesterday, I called Birmingham to get things rolling that direction and got an appointment for a consultation with a plastic surgeon named Dr. Fix on Tuesday, March 22 at 9:00 AM. Once I see him and hear my options, he and my surgeon will have to find a date when they can both operate on me.
I will most likely ask them to wait until June because this year Mike and I are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. In May, we are flying to California to see Savannah, our daughter from Thailand, for the first time in 17 years. Then we are taking a 7 day cruse to Alaska. Yay!
What makes it really hard to make a decision is that although most American doctors will only give you the two options, there are in reality many, many more options. There is prayer and miraculous healing, there are natural healing alternatives, and there are medical doctors around the world that are curing cancer with other medical procedures.
After a much needed nap yesterday, I watched several of the Joseph Prince episodes that I’ve recorded on my DVR. He said several things that stood out to me. One was “That it’s more important to have peace than to be right.” You can send your life trying to be right, when choosing peace is life giving.
One series was about putting on “as a helmet the hope of salvation” from 1 Thessalonians 5:8. He says that hope is “the joyful, confident, expectation of good.” That we can’t live in the past thinking, “If only” or in the future thinking, “What if?” “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1) We have to live in the now where God is.
This very much fits with “Carpe Diem.” Thinking, “I may be having a mastectomy in June.” does not give a very easy feeling. Focusing on having “a joyful, confident, expectation of good” is a much easier way to live.
Another verse that he quoted was: Mark 11:24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. During worship a couple of Sundays ago, Jesus whispered in my ear “Receive your healing.” Ever since I’ve been speaking in faith, “I receive my healing.”
So now I am waiting with a “joyful, confident, expectation of good” for a very visible sign of healing. I wake up each morning looking for the angel of the Lord and hoping to hear him say, “You are made whole. Cancel all your doctors appointments.” My mom said that she, and Mike would have to see him, too. With God all things are possible. 🙂
If he doesn’t come, I am not sure what decision we will finally make, but I will still hold on to my “joyful, confident, expectation of good.” Maybe my “good” will be a supernaturally quick recovery. I know that God is faithful and will be with me every step of the way and that in it’s self is a special kind of miracle. Thank you, Jesus, for making a way for me.
Romans 5:13 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.