Monday, September 17, 2012

I have cancer. :-(

I got the news earlier this morning that I have Invasive Ductal Cancer.  This is the most common type of breast cancer.  My lymph node biopsy also came back as being positive for the cancer, so we know it is in my lymph system.  It appears to be in many lymph nodes, which means the cancer is likely advanced stage. You can read the blog post about my journey to this point right now by clicking here.   It was a tough weekend waiting to hear the results.  However, yesterday was SO MUCH easier than Saturday.  We are sure it was due to the countless prayers going up and we thank all of you who have prayed and continue to pray.  We are also so extremely thankful for our church Community Group!  One couple brought us dinner last night, one dropped by some extra pumped breast milk and all have offered to help in SO MANY ways!  They are praying continuously as well.  What amazing friends (or as we call them, our Austin family).  Lastly, we are thankful Drew's parents were able to come stay with us for a while, as we attend appointments, try to wean Abbey to a sippy cup, etc.  They happened to walk through the door this morning just as we were receiving the pathology results by phone, so it was perfect timing!

When we heard the results this morning, Drew and I surprisingly felt a sense of peace. Of course, this is very sad news and we know it will be a tough road ahead of us, but we can, with God's help, get through this. Your continued prayers are greatly appreciated.

Our next step will be to meet with the Breast Surgeon tomorrow morning at 11am.  We are hoping to find more answers then.  The Breast Surgeon is the central point of contact for the treatment team.  I am sure we will have a ton of doctor's appointments over the coming weeks so that we can find out more about this cancer and the treatment plan.  The next step will be for the surgeon to schedule a PET CT so that we can find out whether this is contained to the breast area or not.  We are really praying that it is contained, but we know that this is typically a very aggressive cancer in young women.  Especially considering how quickly it has progressed in my body.  Once we have those results, I am sure we will be referred to an oncologist so we can create the treatment plan.  We're not sure if I will need to begin chemotherapy or radiation therapy right away or if I will have surgery first.  We are pretty certain that the treatment will involve a mastectomy of the left breast, but are uncertain at which point in time that will happen.

I am in business mode right now--let's get this taken care of!  I am ready to move forward and past this and hope that this will be all in the the past very soon.  We have so many decisions ahead of us.  For those of you who wish to follow our journey, I will be documenting it here.  Again, we would REALLY appreciate your prayers, because we believe in the power of prayer.  Here are our requests today:

  • That the cancer is contained to the breast area and has not spread to ANY other organ. 
  • That the treatment team is the best possible for my specific cancer.  If we need to travel to get that best treatment, we are willing.  
  • That I can get all of my appointments scheduled just as quickly as possible so we can treat this rapidly.
  • That the prognosis is excellent. 
  • That our children are not negatively affected by the emotions of all of this.  Also, that we will be able to take care of them easily.
  • That I will be as healthy as possible through all this.  I currently have bronchitis and it is difficult to breath.  I feel very weak, lightheaded and dizzy, and I am hoping this will all pass when the bronchitis passes.  
  • That Abbey can start more easily drinking formula.  She is now doing pretty well drinking breastmilk out of the sippy cup, but knows when we try to sneak the formula in.  We are starting to be able to get the mix of breastmilk and formula down her.  However, with my need to discontinue lactation, the supply is getting low. 
  • I have a strong desire to survive this.  I want to be here for my husband and children for a really long time!
  • And lastly, that I find time to visit my family in between treatments.  I really miss them. 
Thanks again for your continued prayers!


  1. We love you, Heather, Drew, Luke and Abbey!

  2. Heather, I am so sorry to hear about your diagnosis. We will be praying for you and your family. Please, please, please do not hesitate to let us know if there is anything that you ever need {meals, babysitting, doing laundry, etc}.

  3. Heather, I'm an old friend of Drew's. My sister passed this on from Drew's cousin Andrea. Our family prayed for you tonight and will continue to do so. May God's grace continue to be abundantly poured out on you and your family!

  4. This really stinks! However, I think that writing all this out and listing specific prayer requests is a wonderful idea. Plus, when you beat this you will have this journal as a memory to look back on, and to help others with. So glad you are surrounded by family now. We are continually praying for you and your family. Thank you for keeping us all informed.

  5. Praying for you Heather!
    "Your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you; thh glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard." Isaiah 58:8

  6. Thank you SO much everyone for your continual prayers!

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  8. Heather, Jeremy shared this link on facebook. I have prayed as you requested. I'm confident all will turn out as you hope and pray.

    Darrell Kinion

  9. Hey Sweet Heather, I read this in one of my books and I wanted to share it with you....The acceptance that change rarely comes without difficulty and challenge can truly free a person to "rejoice always". It also allows us to live daily with a grateful heart and "give thanks in all circumstances". No matter what the circumstances, we can be grateful that God fulfills HIS promises, that our faith is sufficient to sustain us, and that our eternal life is assured. The book is called "To Heaven and Back" by Dr. Mary Neal.....