It’s been quiet around here for a few months. And although I’ve shared bits and pieces on Facebook and Instagram, I’m finally ready to start sharing here on the blog what’s been happening. Start peeling back the layers of my journey into the valley, my time in the dry parched barren wilderness at the bottom, and my slow, painful time clawing myself back up the other side of the valley. Share how I’m slowly coming out of the dark.
3 months ago my life was radically changed.
After 3 weeks of scary appointments, Xrays, ultrasound and CT scans, and more time waiting than felt bearable, it was determined I had a huge abdominal mass attached to my left ovary.
In the dark moments of a Saturday morning 3 months ago today, I was wheeled into an operating room. It was cold, it was full of people, and I’ve never felt more alone.
We knew ovarian cancer was a possibility, but my oncologist didn’t think it was probable because (his words, not mine) ‘I’m so young’. Yes, it still blows my mind that I have an oncologist. Well…he was wrong. He found cancer in my ovary, and had to perform a total hysterectomy. He told us that I would most likely need 3-6 rounds of chemo.
After a wearying 2 week wait, we got news that my cancer was Stage 1A…the best possible outcome for having ovarian cancer, and a miracle alone because most women do not get diagnosed until the cancer has spread.
We had to wait another long, grueling week to see my oncologist to talk about what my treatment be like. When it would start, how long it would be. But after he asked if I had read the pathology reports, he told us the most wonderful news! I do not need any further treatment. NO CHEMO! I have never been happier for a doctor to be wrong about something in my whole life! He was happy to be, and I couldn’t help but think how many of his patients he doesn’t get to deliver good news to.
I am beyond grateful for God’s mercy, grace and faithfulness in healing me! For removing this cancer from my body through the skilled hands of a fantastic team of doctors. For giving me this mass so that we could discover my cancer before it was too late.
I would love to tell you that I have been strong through this journey. But I haven’t. God has sustained me. My friends and family have sustained me. Each meal brought to my family, each Scripture sent to me, each prayer lifted for me, each visit, each ride to appointments or just to get out of the house, each delivery of flowers, each uncomfortable person who didn’t know what to say and held back tears but showed up for us, each card and gift I’ve received…..they sustained me!
God is so good! Even if He hadn’t healed me. Even if my cancer had been advanced, He is good! I want to be clear that His goodness does not rest on my outcome.
But He does answer prayers.
If you have been praying for me, thank you. If you didn’t know, please don’t take that as an insult or feel slighted. I have juggled my fears, wanting to protect my family and my heart, especially as we didn’t have answers to so many questions. I know I didn’t do it as well as I would’ve liked..but fear and the weight of cancer and recovery is a difficult place to be. I hope you will give me grace.
And if you have battled cancer or watched a loved one battle, I am sorry. I understand…but not your journey. They are all different, and I would be honored to pray for you. Please reach out to me so I can lift you in prayer.
I have learned so much through this, and I will share more and more. I hope to be strong enough to get back to writing as I wrestle through my thoughts and emotions and how to use them to encourage others.
I’ll let you all know….living without ovaries is really difficult. Even with hormone replacement, I’m still struggling. I’m still battling my emotions, depression and trying to find my ‘new normal’. I haven’t found it yet, and that’s discouraging, on my best day. Recovering from abdominal surgery is beyond difficult. Even now, 3 months later, I have daily pain.
But today, as I reflect on all I’ve been through in the last 3 months, I rejoice at all God has done!
I thank Him for removing my cancer, I thank Him for being faithful, I thank Him for answering my prayers.
Thank you for letting me share with you what has been happening in my life. I’m not sure how God is going to use this in my life, in my writing.
But the one thing I know for sure, I did not go through all of this to keep it to myself. I will use my experience to help others, encourage others, bring light to this silent cancer and give God glory for what He’s done in me. Help others come out of their dark seasons.
I don’t know yet what that will look like, but I know God does. So I’ll seek Him and His will for my life.
No matter where you are today, what you are struggling with, I hope you’ll do the same.