Things Happen So Quickly

Right when I feel like I’m settling into the current circumstances, things change. In fact, it’s been the pattern. With every doctors appointment I attend, I leave cradling worse news. I was not looking forward to my appointment with my oncologist yesterday. My husband and parents were trying to encourage me to continue seeing the positive side, but I just felt I wouldn’t come home with good news.

My feeling was right.

Like I’ve mentioned before, I appreciate my oncologist’s personality. She is straight and to the point, but not harsh. She is compassionate, but not overly emotional. My husband and mom accompanied me into her office, and we all sat down. My doctor began by saying they have further identified the actual type of cancer cells I have.  Below I will list the straight facts of what I’ve learned. I’m extremely exhausted today, so I won’t be able to put as much emotion into my writing, like I typically do. Maybe, once I’m up and energized, I will add my response. Point is, this is crappy news. It changes the whole ball game. It’s like going onto the baseball field expecting to play the Astros (no offense) and finding out you’ll be playing the Yankees. It’s still a game, but you practiced and were prepared for playing against one specific team. Suddenly, a new team shows up and you’re left thinking… Dammit, this truly is going to be a battle. The difference is, God is still by my side and will fight hard on my front line. I am more and more thankful for Him everyday.

Here are the facts:

  1. The results of the biopsies came back and show that the other lymph nodes have not yet been affected by the cancer. This is good news. This means that the doctor removed the cancerous cervix and lymph node, and no other area is showing positive for cancer. Praise God.
  2. Because of the biopsies, they were further able to identify my specific type of cancer cells. Originally I was diagnosed with squamous cell cancer. There are 2 very common cancer types, one being squamous cell carcinoma, and the other being adenocarcinoma. Typically those are the most common cancers seen. However, there are a bunch of other little random and very rare types. Neuroendocrine cancer is an extremely rare type. That’s what I’ve been re-diagnosed with.
  3. Neuroendocrine cancer is an SOB cancer. This monstrous cancer is far worse and meaner than the 2 most common types. My doctor informed me that neuroendocrine cancer is very difficult to cure, and is extremely resistant to treatment.

Because my cancer is hard to cure and resists treatment, we have to get the treatment ball rolling a LOT quicker than we had planned. I start chemo next Wednesday (2/22). My port is being surgically placed under my skin this Friday (2/17). This first round of chemo will be for 3 straight days. Wednesday I will receive 5-6 hours of chemo, and both Thursday and Friday I will receive 3-4 hours of treatment.

After my 3 days of chemo, I will get a 2 week break to rest. Then my radiation/chemo program begins. It’s the same as I stated before. For 5 1/2 weeks, I’ll go in 5 days a week (M-F) to receive radiation. Once a week during that time, I will receive a shot of chemo.

Once the radiation/chemo program is complete, I will have another 2 weeks off from treatment. Then I will begin my next set of chemo rounds. 3 days in a row. Similar to the first time. After this sandwich effect of treatment is complete, they will reassess me, and see what we need to do from then on.

Here are some personal thoughts that I dwell on. I will definitely lose all of my hair within a month. I’m actually not too frightened by this. I’m thankful for a pretty face, and nice skin. And even more thankful that I’m a makeup artist and can make even a bald woman look hot. My husband’s an artist and we’ve already talked about some artwork he could draw on my head… Ya know, like a baseball, football helmet, or field of flowers. Just comedic ideas, friends. I also know that I’m going to be very sick and weak pretty soon. I won’t be able to do much of anything. That’s a bummer. Being as independent as I am, this will be a huge adjustment. I am going to have to completely rely on my husband and family for any needs I might have. But it’s a good thing I’ve got a stellar husband and incredible family to help me with this!

Like I said before, today is a day full of exhaustion. I really need to rest. My incision pain is bad and my intestines have remembered how to work, so I’ve got a little stomach ache. My apologies for not being as fun as I typically am in my entires. But I’ll be back to posting soon. Just need to lay down and catch up on my ZZZ’s. Thank you all for your understanding, support, prayers, and encouragement. You all rock.

2 Chronicles 20:15-17 (Message Version)

“He said, ‘Attention everyone- all of you from out of town, all you from Jerusalem, and you King Jehosaphat-God’s word: Don’t be afraid; don’t pay any mind to this vandal horde. This is God’s war, not yours. Tomorrow you’ll go after them; see, they’re already on their way up the slopes of Ziz; you’ll meet them at the end of the ravine near the wilderness of Jeruel. You won’t have to lift a hand in this battle; just stand firm, Judah and Jerusalem, and watch God’s saving work for you take shape. Don’t be afraid, don’t waver. March out boldly tomorrow-God is with you.'”

17 Comments on Things Happen So Quickly

  1. Laura
    February 15, 2012 at 3:23 PM (8 years ago)

    We will continue to pray for you and ask God for a miracle…so many are lifting up your arms as you fight this battle. You are brave and full of courage…I know God will continue to be so near to you.

    Reply
  2. Malisa
    February 15, 2012 at 3:31 PM (8 years ago)

    Stephanie,

    My mother had squamous cell carcinoma and fought her way through stage 4 and 5 in 2001 and she is now celebrating her 10 year survival date this year. You are a stronger fighter and a more upbeat, faithful young woman than my mother ever was. If anyone can conquer a rare stubborn cancer its you. Continue to lean on your faith not statistics from doctors or the internet. Especially the internet. We are all rooting for you! As American Cancer Society says they create a world with less cancer and more birthdays. Each milestone is a celebration and we are all so excited to celebrate each of those with you.

    Malisa

    2 Corinthians 1:3-7

    Reply
  3. megan
    February 15, 2012 at 3:34 PM (8 years ago)

    Sorry for the bad news. Praying that between the miraculous and the medical you will see total healing come to your body. I’m sure you’re going to look great bald, too!

    Reply
  4. Celeste
    February 15, 2012 at 3:42 PM (8 years ago)

    Steph,

    I don’t even know what to say. My heart breaks for both you and Matt. In my head, I’m using every single curse word you could imagine… This makes me so mad!! Though God has handed you a difficult fight, like you said, He’s using you and this for a much greater story. He’s not giving up, and I know that you won’t either.

    If only I could be half as strong and determined as you! I’m praying for you, for Matt, for your family, and for the doctor’s. I’m praying that God touches your body and gives it all the strength it needs to fight this cancer and make sure it never comes back.

    You’re amazing. You’re beautiful. You’re strong. You’re invincible thanks to a God who fights with to you and for you. I love you, friend. Know that you’ve got an army of prayer warriors lifting you up in prayer!

    Reply
  5. Diana Smith
    February 15, 2012 at 3:44 PM (8 years ago)

    I am so so sorry Stephanie to read your latest blog. Get your rest, lean on your family and friends and above all continue to pray and have faith that God is going to get you through this. You WILL get through this and be such a stronger person after this is all behind you. PLEASE let me know if I can do anything. I pray for you and Matt every day. Love you girl, Aunt D

    Reply
  6. Susie Goodew
    February 15, 2012 at 4:36 PM (8 years ago)

    Dear Steph,

    Thank you for taking the time and giving the energy to write your post.

    I know these days are draining as you recover from the surgery and try to take in the news as it flies at you. Please be confident of our love and prayers. We are very proud of how you are viewing this as an opportunity to learn from God and show Him in all His glory to this world. You will experience His loving kindness like never before. He is faithful and true, He is gentle and gracious and He will hold you up.

    All our love,
    Susie

    Reply
  7. KC Dierenfield
    February 15, 2012 at 5:18 PM (8 years ago)

    This is no surprise to God…He still has you in the palm of His Hands. Praying for peaceful rest in Him, knowing that He and His angelic forces, and human prayer warriors are on the front lines fighting for you.

    Love you, KC

    Reply
  8. Tamara Kemp
    February 15, 2012 at 6:26 PM (8 years ago)

    Oh little Stephanie, my heart is heavy with your news. Paul and I will be praying for you. I haven’t seen you since you were the cutest freckled faced little girl. Just remember God can do all Things!!!

    Reply
  9. Sherree Mongrain
    February 15, 2012 at 6:52 PM (8 years ago)

    Stephanie…I read your posts and feel humbled by your shining spirit and thankful you are here on this planet at this time just being YOU. You and all those who love you are never far from my thoughts and continual prayers. Thank you for sharing and allowing that Spirit to shine so brightly.

    Love and hugs,
    Sherree

    Reply
  10. Karen Rapp
    February 15, 2012 at 6:59 PM (8 years ago)

    You are amazing, Stephanie!
    Praying for you! Isaiah 41:10

    Reply
  11. Sherry Murrow
    February 15, 2012 at 7:15 PM (8 years ago)

    I think “dammit” just about covers it. And, I love the verses you attach, Steph… I’m not the one doing the fighting, but am ALWAYS encouraged by your posts!

    Reply
  12. Vicky Gary
    February 15, 2012 at 7:25 PM (8 years ago)

    You are absolutely awesome, Stephanie. I am looking forward to hugging you one day! Aunt Vicky

    Reply
  13. Ginger
    February 15, 2012 at 8:58 PM (8 years ago)

    We cannot see what lies ahead, the road will be a rough one; but we walk in faith. God will provide for you. I feel that you are going to come through this, Stephanie.
    “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do you not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Jn 14:27

    Reply
  14. Mom
    February 15, 2012 at 9:37 PM (8 years ago)

    You know what, our enemy is vicious. He wants to devour us, cause us pain, and lead to our crumbling so that we either trip up other believers or give non-believers a reason to continue rejecting God.

    But God, our loving and gracious father, has our best interests in the forefront of His mind — even if it doesn’t feel that way to us. He can only do GOOD for us!

    So, in the midst of an anguish I can’t even begin to describe, it is with a joyful heart that I can say Jesus Christ has conquered our enemy and death itself. He has chosen to redeem us to live FOREVER with Him. How could we not praise Him?

    Love to you all. Thanks for praying for us. It is what keeps us strong. God blesses us because of your prayers, and He will bless you, too, for being faithful.

    Genesis 50:30 “Don’t be afraid … Don’t you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my GOOD, as you see all around you right now — life for many people. Easy now, you have nothing to fear; I’ll take care of you and your children.”

    Reply
  15. Jariya
    February 15, 2012 at 10:28 PM (8 years ago)

    Steph… you got this! We are all praying for you!

    Reply
  16. Abby
    February 16, 2012 at 11:29 AM (8 years ago)

    Thank you for keeping us all up to date on what is going on Steph! I wish we could be closer and help somehow. I’m sorry it looks like this is going to be a bit of a harder fight than it looked initially, but you do have the best/biggest Guy on your side ;). I love you very much. Can’t wait to see some head art lol. Stay strong cuz! <3

    Reply
  17. Stephanie Gary Iacovone
    February 16, 2012 at 3:39 PM (8 years ago)

    My Dear Stephanie…praying each day for you and hoping the very best for you. God has you in the palm of his hands and he will NEVER leave your side. Stay strong and positive. Love, Aunt Stephanie

    Reply

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