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This morning I had my post-op checkup with my surgeon. We anticipated finding out what my cancer receptors were…hormones or herto-proteins (fast growing cancer). My cancer was sourced from both estrogen & progesterone. That was a positive. The tumor had the desired clean perimeter. Also, what we hoped for. However, in the very edge of the extra tissue taken, the pathologist discovered a second cancer, DCIS, commonly known as cancer of the milk ducts. Wow! We certainly didn’t see that one coming! I mean, this isn’t supposed to happen if you’ve nursed your babies. Right?

So, when I say “Take 2,” I’m not referring to film production or a candy bar. I’m referring to a second surgery on Monday, June 12, at 12:30 pm. Dr Clarke will reopen the first incision & remove the cancerous area, this time more medial, as opposed to the first-time lower quadrant. The pathologist will test the frozen tissue immediately. And I will stay, under anesthesia, on the table, until the tests indicate the tissue is clear. I am still bruised & tender from the first go-round. So I’m thinking recovery might be a little more uncomfortable. If I was older, they would just do more radiation. But all things considered, Dr Clarke doesn’t want me back in, in a few years, with more cancer.

My first action was to go to the patient account department at the hospital & request that this surgery be viewed as an extension of the first, meaning the first application that we submitted to the Foundation for financial assistance would be all inclusive, and that we wouldn’t be required to put additional money down before the surgery on the 12th. This request should have been submitted to the head supervisor this afternoon. I would ask you to pray to that end.

Like the first cancer reveal, I initially felt like I got unexpectedly derailed from the direction I was going. I had another surreal moment with the Lord, reminding me that HE KNEW ALL ABOUT IT. And like before, I was thankful that God is into details, making sure just enough extra tissue was taken to find the DCIS. This changes the timing of medical treatment & possibly alters more personal plans. Some folks like to say, “It is what it is.” Around our house, we’ve changed that phrase to “It’s not what it’s not.’ It’s a different way of acknowledging that we don’t call the shots. God does. He has His reasons. And we have a choice to make. We can trust. Or, the alternative, as my honey likes to say, we (spiritually) rust.

Phillipians 1: 19 & 20 has become an expression of my heart while traveling this road. “ For I know that this shall turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I shall not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ shall even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.”


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