I had every intention of posting more than every few months, but once again we are in a battle. This battle is not about adoption, or our children. The end of July I went in for a routine mammogram. It was a beautiful day and I remember thinking as I was driving to my appointment, ahhhh life is finally settled and calm. Little did I know that my life was about to turn up-side down.
One hour later I was calling Mark to tell him they had found a "spot" and I needed to have it looked it at. I already knew the answer the radiologist had all but confirmed it. I don't even remember the drive home.
This was a Friday and I couldn't find out anything definite until the next week. Breast cancer! I couldn't even bear to look at my family without crying. I kept thinking I can't cry, I didn't want them to know until I was sure. They were all in our room wrestling and teasing each other and Julia starts telling us a sad story about a boy in school whose mother had just died. I started crying and from my reaction she looked at me, like did you know her? I thought, I might be her, and what are my precious husband and children going to do. I prayed a lot that weekend. I have never asked God why me? I know that cancer isn't caused by anything other than we live in a fallen world. I was sad, but not scared, by the end of the weekend God gave me a peace about it, and I knew with him that I would face whatever was in store. I wasn't going to let it take my faith, my love, or my humor.
There is a lot that has happened between that day and this one. I wanted to write about it, and I couldn't. I wish I could have captured that part of this journey, but honestly my head was in a fog and I was in a daze. I found out that yes I have breast cancer. Good news- it was caught early and wasn't in my lymph nodes. Bad news- it is an aggressive cancer and has a higher rate of re-occurance. My prognosis at this point looks good. I have to have chemo and a wonder drug called Herceptin this drug has its own story and I will share that later. I will have 6 months of big chemo drugs and then a year of Herceptin. Most importantly I will have God and that dear friends no matter what the outcome, is my greatest protection.
Now you know our awesome God is always fair and just and I just have to tell you this part because he is so good. I always get routine mammograms every summer during school breaks. The summer before this last one when Kasey was visiting, for the first time I did not get my routine mammogram done, I skipped it. Last Fall we were trying to get over to adopt her and you know the horrible ordeal that turned into. Here is the part that gives me goose bumps. Had I gone in for that mammogram that summer they would have found the spot and because it is an aggressive cancer I would have had to go into treatment for a year as I am doing now. I wouldn't have been able to pass my physical to go. We would never have been able to adopt Kasey as she would have aged out and we would have lost her by the time I was through with chemo. Unusual for me but now we know the reason I skipped a mammogram. God kept me protected through that time period even though the tumor was most likely growing he never let it reach my lymph nodes! Was there ever any doubt Kasey was meant to be ours.
I am now doing chemo and am on temporary leave from my job. I have had a lumpectomy but since it is an aggressive cancer have decided at the end of chemo to have a double mastectomy. I have lost all my hair. Now folks not in all my years have I ever been referred to as beautiful. My name and that word have never been associated until now. "Rhonda you are beautiful" or "oh my you have a beautiful head" Well, God does have a sense of humor who knew my best feature was hidden under a head of hair this whole time.
How is my family doing? Everyone handles things differently some want to know all and others want to pretend like life as usual. Mark and the 3 girls are here so they are in the thick of it. Mark is my heart and you can only imagine what this is doing to him. He holds me as I am sick from the chemo. Fortunately, we have managed to shield the kids from this part. As I blog I will of course be talking more about Mark and the girls as they are the ones home at this point, but our other kids are no less involved they just aren't here on a daily basis. Brett and Kyle are close by and visit often. Kenna, Ryan and Zhenya are all away right now at school and jobs. Alesa, Julia and Kasey are with me every day and they are all angels in their own ways. We are trying to keep things as normal as possible because they have lost one mom and we don't want them to stress about this. They pray the most precious prayers over me. "Dear God please don't take our mom we love her so much" " She came to get us please don't take her from us" We really need our mom God" These are such sweet prayers and I thank God for the blessing of these girls in this time.
Now an up-date on Kasey Grace. She is just an amazing girl and has had the easiest transition in of all the kids. She is joyous, happy, and always has a smile on her face. She is loving, affectionate and sweet. I told you she made color guard and because she is so athletic she is already on the first line. Kasey makes friends easily and loves life. The three girls get along and all three are very different. It is truly a blessing to be their mom. Alesa is on the swim team and Julia is in cheerleading again this year. They are teens and we still do a lot of teaching and re-teaching, but they love us and really want to please. I have no doubt they will all grow into wonderful women.
I am trying to decide since this blog is really not about adoption now, although we still advocate for adoption, it will be more of a family chronicle and my cancer journey I may make a new blog and just put a link on here for awhile. That takes some thought and since my brain is slow processing these days it may take awhile :)
We never know what we will encounter on this journey, but what thing that is always constant is God. He knew from the beginning what would happen and he knows the end, and in this alone lies my comfort. I can not imagine doing this without him. Praising God for his everlasting love!