The day of my lumpectomy surgery was a long one. We were up at 4 am, at the hospital before 6 am, and I didn’t get wheeled into surgery until 10:30 am. My husband waited alone while I underwent an almost 4 hour operation. I was in recovery another hour and a half before my medical team released me into my husband’s competent care. We arrived home at 4 pm, (twelve hours from when we woke up), and after Nick carefully walked me in and made sure I was settled comfortably in my recliner, I was welcomed by my Shih Tzu, Chai. He was deliriously happy for his mommy to be home. His kisses were sweet (and a bit sloppy).
The following Tuesday we sat in the surgeon’s office, waiting for pathology results and discovering what the next step in my cancer journey would be. I confess, my weekend wasn’t without anxiety, wondering if there would have to be more surgery. My doctor came in, made small talk (which always concerns me when it precedes surgical results), and smiled. “Well, I have good news,” she tosses out to me, “you are cancer free.” I’m speechless at first and ask, “All the cancer is gone?” She nods her head, smiling. “Yes, I got it all.”
She examined my incision and was pleased with the way it was healing. She assured me she removed what was left of the tumor (chemo had killed the cancer cells), plus enough breast tissue to determine clear margins, and 5 lymph nodes, which were all free from any cancer. She repeated, “It’s all gone.”
Before she released me we discussed the importance of me having radiation to reduce my risk of recurrence. After she left the room, my husband and I looked at each other and smiled. “Praise God,” I said. We hugged and left the office.
It’s now almost 3 weeks later and my heart is filled with joy as I think about what God has done for me. Yes, I still face radiation and will have to go in more often for mammograms, but the surgeon said I am “cancer free.” God did that! He has a plan for me and I will be around to fulfill it. I can continue teaching my virtual Sunday school class, finish writing my books, get reacquainted with my great-grands, spend time making memories with friends and family, and growing older with my precious husband and sweet little Chai. I’m able to continue sharing what Christ has done in my life while encouraging others to receive Him and fall in love with my Savior.
My cancer journey hasn’t been fun. I’ve had days of crushing pain, anxiety, fear, and tears. But there has not been one single day where God hasn’t given me a pocket of joy. He’s done it through people…family, friends, and even some I don’t know. I’ve received so much help in many different forms. I still receive precious cards and surprises weekly. I have saved every single one and when I re-read them, I’m filled with joy all over again.