* Note: This blog is part of a series called Even In The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death.
Pathology reveals infiltrating ductal carcinoma grade 3/3. This is consistent with the imaging findings.
It was confirmed that I had infiltrating ductal carcinoma on December 13, 2007, in other words, breast cancer.
On a scale of 1-3 with a 1 being the best, I was a 3. A few days later I got hit with another blow. 85% of all breast cancer tumors are either what is commonly called ER or PR positive. Another type of tumor is known as Her2. Nowadays there are drugs which can be given post-surgery to help prevent or slow down the growth of ER, PR or Her2 tumors.
My tumor was what is known as a "triple negative" tumor meaning I had none of the above. Good, right? Well... that depends. The good news was that after surgery, chemo and radiation, treatment was done. The bad news was treatment would be done because there was nothing more they could do for me... except wait.
Since chemotherapy is the only known treatment for this sort of cancer and it tends to come back with a vengeance within the first two years, chemotherapy is aggressive. Instead of six infusions spread out every three weeks for 15 weeks, I had chemo every two weeks for 14 weeks. Dose dense chemo is rough. Really rough.
My odds of having a recurrence within two years was high. Very high, even without lymph node involvement. Everything within me wanted to lash out at God and scream, "Why!" Everything within me wanted to crawl into a deep dark hole and hide. This was too much to bear. Yes, it was too much for me to bear but it was not too much for God.
How I wanted God to just make it vanish. I wanted them to come back and say there had been a mistake. That wasn't my biopsy. I wanted the tumor to vanish in the hands of the surgeon, I wanted... I wanted...
Sigh... but the question was, what did God want?
I cried a lot in those early days. I would cry on my way to work, I would dry my tears and teach my little second graders. Then the tears would flow again, once I got into my car to drive home. The pain was so great!
One morning, shortly after my diagnosis, a song came on over the radio. As I listened to the words, tears flowed down my face once again but they were not tears or fear nor tears of anger. They were healing tears.
A phrase I was fond of saying came to mind:
We are not victims of our circumstances. We are victors over them through Jesus Christ Our Lord.
I did not know what my future here on this earth would hold but I did know the One who had me in His hands. Would I trust Him... no matter what? YES!
Though tears were streaming down my face, there was a song in my heart for I belonged to the King and cancer did not change that in the least. He still had me safe in His arms and that really was all that mattered in the end.
How can I possibly keep from singing? I am loved by the King... and so are you!
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/beckmann/4995883355/
sobK, I think those tears were tears of submission.