In May 2014 I had my annual mammogram and it revealed some areas of concern. I was advised to schedule a follow-up visit in three months. Three months later I returned for another mammogram/ultrasound. The radiologist noted some changes in the tissue, but didn’t think it was anything to be alarmed about and asked that I return again in 30 days for a follow up.
Not waiting this time.
I immediately consulted with my doctor, Michael Wood, and he made an appointment for me to see a surgeon that afternoon. The surgeon also acted quickly and scheduled a biopsy. A few days later the pathology report confirmed what no one ever wants to hear.
Unexpected and unwanted for sure, but God knew this would be a chapter in my story from the beginning, and while I would love to return to a few days ago and keep my life just the way it was, that’s not possible. So I will step back from the plans I have made for the rest of 2014 and let God do what only He can.
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. — Ex 14:14
I don’t like waste. I reuse and recycle. I eat leftovers instead of throwing food away. I use coupons. I even reuse jars, gift bags, boxes, and other containers if I think I can give them a second life. I don’t like to waste money, time, or opportunities. Others may have a different word to describe a situation like this, but mine is opportunity. And I am not going to waste it.
If I have to go through this, and I do, then I am going to leverage it. I am going to own it and be intentional about utilizing each facet of my new reality to make a difference. God has not cursed me with this disease, He has entrusted me with it. If I can’t help someone else through my pain, then I’ve wasted a valuable opportunity.
And know this, my family and I will be better because of this, not worse. It will stretch us, cause pain, inconvenience, questions, tears, even anger. But in the end, we will come out much stronger than we started. That’s my promise from God, and I will hold Him to it. I don’t know how He plans to accomplish that, but He’s God, so I’m not worried about it getting done.
My children will have to mature and handle circumstances and situations that a 14-year-old and an 8-year-old should never have to think about, but they’re incredibly gifted kids with big hearts and sensitive spirits, so I know they’re up for it.
I’m not wasting this pain. I will not allow it to hurt my children. Since they have to go through this, they’re going to benefit from it. They’re going to rise above it, and grow up stronger, wiser, and more capable than they would have without it.
God is smart like that. He will use something that was meant to destroy and turn it around to fortify. The enemy meant it for our destruction; God will use it for our good. That’s how He works.
I want to be a good steward of that which He has entrusted me with, and I am confident He will be faithful to use this for all things good in the life of my family. I have no doubt that the pain and angst of the upcoming months will not destroy, but instead, equip my children with the tools and qualities they will need to better fulfill their purpose.
The repercussions of this battle will be used to expand their concepts, strengthen their leadership, and pull them closer to the God who is going to get us all through this victoriously. Patrick and I are fully aware that they will learn how to handle adversity and unexpected tragedy by watching us walk through this storm.
Our prayer is that we model, with grace, that faith in God is not being guaranteed a life of ease, but instead, that faith brings a life full of the peace of God and the assurance that He will take care of us, despite any circumstance that we may encounter.
I have a very aggressive breast cancer, thus my treatment will be aggressive. Please pray for us as we make some very important decisions regarding my treatment and care. I have an appointment at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX on Wednesday, September 3rd at 7:00 a.m. I had surgery to insert my port Thursday, August 28th, and will most likely start chemo while in Houston.
I have been warned that the treatment will be brutal, but so is this disease, and I am up to the task. I will do whatever it takes to come out on the other side healed and healthy. I fully believe that is my future.
In addition to a top-notch medical team, I am blessed to have a team of family and friends that have already rallied beside Patrick, the kids, and me, and are ready to see us win this battle. God has placed the most amazing people in my life and I am so grateful. It means so much to have an incredibly supportive family and a host of praying, willing-to-do-whatever-we-need friends who have wrapped their collective arms around us in love and prayer.
My pastor, Rod Loy, always says, everything is better in teams. Never has that resonated more with me than right now. Team Tina, I need you. Please pray for me. Pray for my family. Pray for my kids. Pray for my doctors. And pray for a cure. I can do this, but not without my powerful, healing God, and not without you.
August 30, 2014