I was planning on waiting to share all this after we meet with the oncologists on Friday, but this is just too hard. We have been slowly telling people as needed, but I’ll be honest, I feel like we are falling apart. None of us know what to do. I apologize if you are reading this and I’m not telling you in person, but there were multiple spots on my spine, hips and possibly my sternum on my CT scan, meaning the cancer has returned. I’m reaching out for help as needed, but there’s not a lot any of us can do right now and it’s just hard.
Immediate prayer requests in case you don’t want to read the entire post – Bone scan tomorrow, meeting with radiation oncologist and oncologist on Friday and Biopsy next Thursday (which sounds HORRIBLE).
Here’s my blog that I’ve been keeping private for the past couple weeks as we continue to gather information.
Monday, September 23
The phone call came at 5:13pm. I was getting ready to leave to go pick up our middle daughter from play practice. I saw it was Valley Medical Oncology and was surprised that I would get a call back so soon.
I’ve gotten to know my oncologist pretty well over the past 4 years. I knew immediately from the sound in his voice that he had bad news. I knew immediately.
He asked if it was a good time to talk and I asked if he could wait a minute for me to get in the car and then I would be alone and could talk.
He explained that there were spots on the CT on my hips and on the vertebrate in my mid back. He said there is a fracture in one of the vertebrates in my mid back as well. Guess that explains the pain. 🙂 He said he will need to see a bone scan or we’ll need to do a biopsy to confirm that it’s cancer, but he’s 90% sure. While he’s only 90% sure, this is his profession. He’s seen a lot of these scans. He’s the head of the oncology department. The cancer has returned.
When I got off the phone, I called Tom. We had just enough time to talk before I got to the school and had to put a big smile on my face to greet our daughter who was super excited about her part in the school play. We decided to not say anything to the girls until we know more details and have a plan.
When I had a few minutes while the girls were occupied, I called our parents and also called my friend Linda, who is going to go with me to the apt. tomorrow since Tom is in Portland. Not sure if we made the right decision for him to stay and work, since we don’t know anything for sure yet. But if the cancer has definitely returned, he’ll be missing a lot of work.
It’s 9:38 and I need to try to go to bed. I wonder how many Tylenol PM’s I can take? Just kidding. I will only take 2. 🙂
Lord, please help me to sleep this evening.
Tuesday, September 24
I slept pretty good last night. Our oldest doesn’t feel well this morning (the other two girls and Tom have all had some sort of stomach bug over the past week), but she is up and moving and I am praying that she will be ok enough to go to school.
I worked on my Bible Study this morning and then called Tom. He’s on his way home so he should make it in time to be at the Dr. appointment with us. I am very thankful for that. 🙂
The appointment with the Dr. went well. So much information, but the jist of it is that my T8 is fractured and there are multiple spots on my spine and hips. I asked him what else it could be besides cancer and he said, “Well……” Technically the spots could be areas where there was cancer and have now healed. However, when you compare my current scan with the scan from 2018, there were not spots. So that’s obviously not the case. 🙁 He said I will be on some sort of treatment the rest of my life. Fabulous. So while we are awaiting an MRI and Bone Scan to give us a better picture of what we are dealing with, they will also direct us in treatment.
Wednesday, September 25th
Tom stayed home today and we had a lot of time to talk. Lots of hard conversations, but we need to have them. He was really struggling by the end of the day, so while the girls were at AWANA and Youth Group and I was at Open House at the High School, he stayed home and rested. I hate that we have to go through this. I hate to see him hurting. I hate knowing that his mind is going constantly with so many unknowns right now. I hate all of this. Lord, give him strength to get through this and help him to feel Your presence. Help him to not feel alone.
Saturday, September 28th
We have enjoyed a quiet morning around the house. I had a little trouble sleeping as it’s not very comfortable to lay on my side right now, which is how I usually sleep.
Wednesday, October 2nd
I love my girls so much, but being a parent is hard. I am struggling with worrying about how I will be able to hand those hard times when I am sick. I am struggling to hold back tears this morning and have been listening to worship music and praying a lot. In the past 20 minutes I have received texts from people telling me they are praying for me this morning. Another friend also texted to ask if she could bring over enchiladas for dinner. Thank you Lord for friends and family who pray and encourage, even when they don’t know it’s a particularly hard morning.
Thursday, October 3rd
Time is going by so slowly. I’m so emotionally drained. I don’t know how I can keep this up for another week! The MRI went well today.
Friday, October 4th
MRI results confirm what we saw in the CT and showed a possible other spot on my sternum. He said the bone scan will give us more details on this area.
Monday, October 7th
Yesterday I lost it. I was sitting in church, Tom was playing the piano on stage, and during the first song, I couldn’t hold back the tears any longer. I walked out to the car and just cried out to God. I told Him how angry I was at Him and asked why so many hard things had to happen all at the same time. (Pretty much every area of our life has something big going on right. Some is too personal to share online – I’m sure you understand.) I have never been angry with God and questioned why like that before, even during my initial diagnosis and treatment. I wrote down everything I was feeling. It felt good to get it out.
Tom couldn’t find me when he was done playing piano, so he sent me a text and came out to the car. I shared everything with him…so many tears…did I do something to deserve this? Why does God think we can handle all this at once, even with His help? Am I being punished for something I did? Is this a result of something that someone else did? Is God allowing this so someone else can learn something….because I just want to die….I know the end is Heaven and I don’t want to walk this road again…I just can’t. There was a lot more said, but you get the jist of it.
I know it was hard to hear as he just wants to fix it and have everything ok. But he can’t. No one can. I told him I can’t hide it anymore….that I knew we didn’t have all the answers, but if you’ve ever seen me act before, you know my acting skills are not very good. I can’t act like everything is OK when everything is falling apart. I just need the girls to know so I can move on. I need them to know so we can walk through this as a family. I need them to know so we can pray about it together.
During this meltdown, we also talked about what we could do to lighten my load right now and in the upcoming months. We decided to hire someone to come clean our house once a week, as deep cleaning hurts my back too much. We decided to hire someone to help one of our kids with homework and school work. And we decided to tell the girls during lunch. Ugh!
We sat down to eat lunch and started to talk about the week ahead and everything on the calendar. When we got to Thursday, we told them the Dr. was concerned about the results from the previous scans and that I was having another one on Thursday to clarify. They had a lot of questions, and now they know everything. The younger two were quiet and I got lots of “I love you’s” the rest of the day. Our oldest is really struggling, as we expected. Our girls are all so different and they will process this in different ways. But now they know.
I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. This morning in my quiet time, I asked the Lord to forgive me for doubting and questioning him, to forgive me for being angry, and to forgive me for trying to do this on my own.
This is so hard, but I am thankful I am never alone.
Monday, October 7
I am so thankful for Shannon, a fellow PTA mom who has stepped up to help with our week of Missoula Children’s Theater this week that I am in charge of. Of course the biopsy office calls to schedule just a few minutes after all the kids arrive for auditions. Thank you Lord for having her there so I could deal with that. They called back multiple times to reschedule within 30 minutes. 🙁 I lost it (again) and am so thankful for two friends who happened to be together in one of their classrooms who hugged me and prayed with me and just let me cry. I pulled it back together and went back out to the auditions. I’m tired of telling people this news.
Wednesday, October 9
I’m being woken up at night by pain. I don’t like it. It doesn’t matter the position I’m in, even with our new fancy adjustable bed. 🙁 It hurts somewhere around my left lung/heart area. I have been taking Prilosec for about a week because we thought it might be heartburn. Talked with the Dr. yesterday and we are going to do a higher dose of it for a week and if nothing changes, just stop it. I will chat with the oncologist about that on Friday.
Overall, I’m just in more pain this past week. Not sure why. I’m still taking the same pain meds, but might have to adjust them a little. I hate this so much.
Our oldest is really struggling. It breaks my heart. I hate this so much.
On top of all the cancer stuff, this week I have been in charge of a week of Missoula Children’s Theater for Ashley’s elementary school. I am so thankful for all of the parents who have stepped up to take most of the load off of me, as I am not able to do it. It’s been an emotional week. It’s so hard.
Facebook memories keep showing pictures of posts from a year ago when I received news of a clean CT scan. I’m thankful for another year of life. But seeing those memories and ALL THE PINK is really like torture at this moment. I’ve said it before, but October is THE WORST MONTH to be going through breast cancer stuff. IT’S EVERYWHERE!!! And while I’m very thankful for the research, I hate to see it right now.
If you are still reading this, thanks. I’m sure it was horrible to read. It was horrible to write. 🙁 We are really struggling right now but will reach out for help as we can. Thanks for praying with us as I continue to get scans and tests and as we make a plan.