My Story

I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Her2 positive breast cancer Dec. 27th, 2011. I had three large tumors in my left breast, I also had two positive lymph nodes and so with 5 positive biopsies I started my journey. In the beginning, it was a whirlwind and within a week, I was getting a port and preparing for chemo and the rush to save my life was on. Eight months later (August 20th) after stopping chemo (12 sessions) and not having surgery (a suggested double mastectomy) or radiation like my doctors wanted me to, I sat at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Illinois and heard the results of a mammogram, MRI, Pet Scan and blood tests were that they could find no cancer in my body. The nurses and doctors were baffled and no one could explain how I could have had this terrible cancer and it was now gone, except for me. I said the Lord healed me through prayers, education, diet and supplements. I started this blog when I was first diagnosed, it is not just about on cancer, but my life and day-to-day thoughts and activities. There are suggested websites, blogs, videos and more here that I believe can benefit those dealing with cancer and those who want to be preventative. My hope is that you and yours will learn, be encouraged and healed. My family prays every night for those with cancer and that you will be not only be healed but that you will live long and happy lives.
Please check out the right side and scroll down to "This blog" for highlights.
Love and Blessings on your journey.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Remembering the Beginning of the Journey - June 24, 2013

This is the beginning of my cancer journey the first days and all.

Karri’s Breast Cancer Timeline

Tues. Dec. 20 – Visited a PA at the family practice office –She thought since there was pain involved that it must be a cyst; she said cancer doesn't hurt.
Blessing: Quick visit and no worries.

Tues. Dec. 27 –  I went in for 3 hours of mammogram and ultrasound testing.  Dr. Sardina said 99% sure it was a complicated case of malignant cancer. He said cancer when big enough can hurt. Three masses found, two  in the armpit which meant the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes  We told the oldest two girls in the kitchen that night.
Blessings: The doctor, nurses and all the other staff were phenomenal and super sweet and helpful. It was obvious that everyone truly cared about me and my health and they took the time to be through and do the best job possible. I appreciate the matter of fact way but yet caring way that Dr. Sardina told me.  He was willing to come in the next day to biopsy instead of going on vacation which was his previous plan. My friend Jennifer was able to talk with me afterwards and that was helpful. The girls took it o.k. and weren't upset.
Note: I just happened to be reading a book in the waiting room called Don't Call it a Comeback by Kevin DeYoung and right between testing, I read the something comforting and true that only God could have provided at that very time. Paragraph from Kevin DeYoung’s book Don't call it a Comeback pages 29 – 30

Give them a God that who is holy, independent and unlike us, a God who is good, just, full of wrath, and full of mercy. Give them a God who is sovereign  powerful, tender and true. Give them a God with edges. Give them an undiluted God who makes them feel cherished and safe and small and uncomfortable too. Give them a God who works all things after the counsel of his will and for the glory of his name. give them a God whose love is lavish and free. Give them a God worthy of wonder and fear, A God big enough for all your faith, hope and love.

Wed Dec. 28 -  Went back to Christas St. Catherine’s to do biopsies with Dr. Sardina. We decided in spite of our insurance coverage deductible switching over January 1st, to go forth because of lots of encouragement to do so.  All biopsies tested positive for cancer. The large mass was measured at 6 cm – 8 cm. A double mastectomy was suggested.
Blessings:  The nurses said that they had been praying for me. The hospital did not charge a dime that day as the doctor had called the CFO.  It wasn't too painful and Mark was able to come and get me and take care of me at home.

Thur. Dec 29 – In bedrest for 24 - 48 hours.
Blessings: My mom, Bebe stayed in town a few extra days to help with the kids, even though it was a bit stressful to have her for 5 whole days, she helped tremendously.  I slowly started telling more friends and they were all super supportive and started praying.

Sat. Dec 31 – Cleaning the house with the little boys, while Mark and the 4 oldest kids go to the A&M game with friends. Had a fun New Year’s Eve party from 6:00 – 10:30 and had kids spend the night.
Blessings: Some friends and their wonderful families came over and we had wonderful fun and fellowship. My kids had so much fun with their friends, fireworks and running around. The food was delicious, I was happy and my heart was warmed in seeing all the smiles on the children’s faces.

Sun. Jan 1 – Mark and I went without kids to his Dad’s house and we told my father- in - law and his wife Denise the news. They said they would pray and at this point my Mom and his dad and his wife are all we have told. We're not sure how we will tell everyone else yet.
Blessing: They said they would pray and help in any way they can and since they are our closest family members this is super important.

Mon. Jan 2 –  I picked up the sonogram and mammogram films along with the pathology report from the hospital and was fascinated with everything. I watched the Death is not Dying video on the internet. I suggest everyone watch it. It’s a video of a woman with stage 4 cancer talking about life and Jesus. She’s amazing and it’s wonderful. I hosted a tutor meeting at my house where the majority of ladies don’t know and that was a bit difficult to compartmentalize so much and keep such a big secret. I am hoping to learn more before telling everyone in my CC group on Saturday. Debating doing a blog or mass E-mails.
Blessings: The is the realisation that I am not alone in this cancer and that many have gone before me. I knew it before but it obviously didn't have the same meaning. I have a wonderful group of women that are so sweet, caring and wise around me on a regular basis, and I am thankful to God for them in my lives. Two friends stayed late and talked with me about everything and even looked at all my mammogram films.

Tues. Jan. 3  -  This was the biggest day so far. No tears whatsoever for the last 8 days as I have just been educating myself with books, websites and blogs in  order to learn as much as I can. Doctors say I'm probably still in shock. I haven't been scared, just wondering how I would do it all.  Mark and I met with the breast surgeon, Dr. Jo Pollack who said it’s a 2B borderline 3A stage cancer, which is what I thought it was, however more tests need to be run. The doctor said it can be cured at stage 2 or 3, but we have to do testing to see if it has spread. If not I will be dancing the happy jig. The largest mass was only biopsied in the middle and she thinks it might not all be cancer through and through, which would take it to level 2B. She says chemo needs to be done soon in order to shrink the masses, the largest being 8 cms. I am already scheduled to have another surgery for bladder lift problems on the 24th and they are concerned about that. Her first thought is push that surgery up sooner and recover or cancel it for 10 plus months out and start chemo first. She wants to do 6 months of chemo and then do a double mastectomy and then do radiation possibly. She sent us next door to the oncologist which is when a few tears and reality set in when I saw all the people without hair, bald or in wigs doing their chemo treatments. The oncologist said that she wants to do testing tomorrow so we can see if it has spread. I have a grade 3 which is an aggressive cancer which you can literally see growing under the microscope. Its common in young people (40 and younger) the good news is that it responds very well to chemo and so we'll get started as soon as we can.
Blessings:  I had a great heart to heart at a 7 year old level as Harrison and I cuddled in bed and we talked about everything this morning. He was very attentive and full of questions and concerns for at least 25 minutes! I was really impressed with the caring and truly concerned surgeon and oncologist that I met.  A good friend, Bobbie watched our kids so we could process things and talk and just have some down time. She is even had 4 kids sleep over so that I can go and do more tests tomorrow morning. Mark’s boss gave him his lost pay back when he heard the news. What a blessing as Mark had lost 20% of his pay 2 plus years ago! His boss, Larry, also said he’s there for him and our family however he can be!  We made quick appointments for the next day’s tests and a follow -up appointment with the oncologist for Friday. Thanking God for blessings.

Wed. Jan 4 – Bone testing to see if it has spread  to the bones of course and a CAT scan to see if it is in any other organs (lungs, liver, brain). Praying no growth and that we caught it early enough.

I thank you for your prayers. I will be getting a short haircut soon since they said within 2 -3 weeks I'll loose my hair and that makes it an easier transition.

Thanks so much!

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