Friday, August 24, 2012

Looking Back

So, before I blog what is really on my heart, I wanted to just say this because it is a HUGE praise! This past treatment was a really really good one. Everything went off just perfectly. Just a little bit of coughing, a little nausea, and extreme fatigue...but only for a few days. Nothing that I couldn't handle and nothing that made me want to run for the hills and never come back. Just a "normal" treatment. What a change and what a relief! JUST ONE MORE TO GO NOW!!! I know this may come across as cliche or whatever, but truly if you know me and my heart you will understand that every time I say this, I mean it: God is so faithful! I cannot believe that next month will mark the one year date of getting this horrific treatment and I really can't hardly fathom how God has provided for me and my family in the worst and best of times over the past 12 months. This time last year, I was on an all time high in my life. I had been able to put cancer and the horror of my reconstruction attempts behind me, come to terms with all of it, and really begin enjoying my life again. And then the hammer dropped and things went from really awesome to pretty much a year of off and on despair. Don't get me wrong, some amazing things have happened this year, but some pretty crappy ones have to. Such is life though, right?!? 
And now, as I sit here alone with my thoughts and just this darn keyboard, I think back to the beginning. How 3.5 years ago I was just finishing up the first bouts of IV chemo. The 16 rounds that took every cancer cell captive and killed it. And now 3.5 years later I am finishing up another 18 rounds bringing my grand total to 34 rounds of cancer killing drugs. Whew. It's a wonder I have any normal cell left in my body at all. Not to mention the 3 years of Tamoxifen I have taken and the 1 year of clinical trial chemo I took. And who could forget the daily radiation treatments that left my skin forever darkened and temporarily burned? Not I. And then there are the scars from 7 different chest surgeries and the weakness that has ensued. When I look back at all of these things, it's pretty easy to sit here and get all teary eyed and think "woe is me." But it doesn't last too least most of the time it doesn't because there is worse. You heard me; it's so true. There are worse things! PROMISE! If you don't think so, or find it hard to imagine, try this:
1. I just went to an amazing community CrossFit event where we honored the life of a 40 year old Special Forces Soldier who died from lung cancer - having never been a smoker in his life. He left behind a wife and 2 year old daughter
2. I lost my "kindred spirit" and chemo buddy to breast cancer - about 2 months after she heard the words..."no evidence of disease"
3. I have another friend who is living with breast cancer that has metastasized throughout her body and will find out in a few days if it has invaded her brain.
See, I told you there are worse things in life than your own lot...

I'm not really sure why I have had to endure such a long and drawn out treatment plan for this cancer. Normally, for stage 3A, estrogen positive, aggressive cancer the treatment totals 1 year maximum. But what I can say for sure is that I know that none of it has been in vain. That every single trip to Vanderbilt, every single drop of chemo that has entered these veins of mine, and every single pill I have had to take has all been for His great glory. And the fellow cancer "victims" that I mentioned above, their stories have all been for a greater plan and purpose too, as is yours. Even though we may never see how the story unfolds, unfold it does and it is up to us to live a life that points to Christ so that when it does unfold, others can see that NOTHING in this life is about us, but is all about the Son of God.

John 11:4 -No, this sickness will not end in death. It happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.


  1. Love this post. I feel like it could be the end of your book. Are you still writing a book? You are brave and strong and have fought the fight laid before you. Thank you for pointing others to Christ along the way.

  2. Kelly, I'm over here from Syndi's "Advocate of Hope" blog! I, too, am a breast cancer patient, and I want you to know that I am praying for you today, asking God to give you his strength and peace as you battle through these days. You are not alone in this journey, even though there are times when the isolation feels devastating.

    Fight forward, sister warrior. Today, I'm standing with you in prayer.