We both composed ourselves and called my husband who did not come with us because we all knew the results would be just fine. Little did we know that my call would relay the message of Breast Cancer for the 2nd time. My husband was so shocked that I could barely hear his reply. Are you sure? I’m so sorry. I promise, we’ll get through this.
We left there and went to our extended family, Libby Dalton who also found this news to be quite shocking and unbelievable. She too said, we’ll get through this with lots of love and our Faith in God.
Somehow on our ride home, I found myself thinking, how am I going to get through this? My family needs me, my grandchildren are the delight of my life and now look what I’ve got facing me. Was I really going to get through this? I did everything right, or I thought I did. I went every year for my mammogram and this year was no different other than they found a little something that was thought to be nothing and now I’m facing a battle of cancer for the second time.
That very night, my husband, my daughter and son-in-law and grandchildren met and we all looked at each other and with love from all of my family, they really did assure me that all would be alright.
I went to work the next day and had to tell those with whom I work and it was so hard to tell them my news, but I found myself saying, “It will be just fine.” Don’t worry about anything, it will be ok. Everyone from the Mayor, City Administrator and those with whom I work were so supportive and made the statement, “If there is anything we can do, just let us know.” You know, I found myself believing them. They were truly sorry for the bad news and they did care about the outcome of the situation I was facing.
Days passed and many decisions had to be made like who would do the surgery, what kind would I have and where would I go for the surgery. I found it hard to make any decisions, especially about what type of surgery I would have.
A few more days passed and it was Sunday and time to go to church. Little did I know that my daughter had spoken with a surgeon in our church, Dr. John Rinkliff who is a strong Christian and he told Amy, don’t worry, I’ll speak with your mom after the service and assure her that everything will be fine and I’ll take good care of her if she wants me to do the surgery. Sure enough, I could feel God’s presence in the conversation and I did feel that everything would be alright.
I made the appointment to see Dr. Rinkliff and my husband and daughter went with me to see him about the type surgery that I needed to rid myself of Breast Cancer. I never dreamed of a Double Mastectomy with Reconstruction, but that was his recommendation and my family was very much for this procedure because of the outcome of how I would feel after the completion of both surgeries.
We all left Dr. Rinkliff s office and this seemed to be a great idea for everyone but me. I was not sure at all if this was the way I should go. This was a major decision and not one that I was going to take lightly. Many discussions, lots of tears and lot of Prayer took over my being. What would I do?
After another trip to the Surgeon’s office and a trip to the Plastic Surgeon’s office, Dr. Elizabeth Blakemore, I decided reluctantly to go ahead with the procedure.
On September 9, 2009,1 entered Patewood Memorial Hospital to have a Double Mastectomy and Reconstruction which would be a long Journey from that very moment. Little did I know that this Journey would have many detours and major problems, but I had to really rely on my Faith in God and let my loving family and friends see me through this incredible course of my life.
The 5 hour surgery was intense for everyone, especially my family. When the first surgeon came out, he said, “its over for my part”, the reconstruction surgery is starting right now and should take about 2 % more hours. My family and those waiting with my family were exhausted.
After the surgery was finally over, my family came to see me and the journey became even more realistic to them after seeing me in so much pain. I not only felt the pain of surgery, but I could see the hurt in their faces. What had I done? So much to take in and so many unanswered questions. Only time would tell what had taken place.
Many days of being completely out of it and remembering how I wanted to be normal again. The love from my husband, daughter, son-in-law, grandchildren and other very dear friends kept me going. Encouragement from both surgeons, nurses and those on the hospital staff made us feel as though we would be just fine.
We left the hospital after that surgery not really knowing that we would be back for one more major surgery and two outpatient surgeries that would finish my journey. The times in between all the surgeries were hard and sometimes unbearable, but again, my faith and the love from family and friends would see me through this journey.
This Journey has taken over a year, but I’m almost to the finish line and I know I’ll see the end real soon.
Family and friends are so important in a moment like this, but my workplace of which I spend 8 hours a day has also been such an inspiration to me.
On the day of my first surgery, everyone wore Pink Ribbon shirts (yes, the Mayor and City Administrator) to show their support for me. My family was so touched by everyone that took part in this expression of support. What a great bunch! No one will ever know how much that really meant to me.
God has a plan for everyone’s life, but how we make the journey is up to us. We can walk the life of Faith and Love and always remember that God will supply all of our needs. I’m thankful for His direction in my life and I pray my Journey of Cancer will end with this story. I have too much to look forward to with my Family and Friends.
Always remember to have yearly checkups (male and female). You never know what journey your life will take if you neglect your health. Early detection saved my life, not once, but TWICE, lama blessed woman.