D-Day for us means Diagnosis Day. When I woke up that morning, my first thought was, “Today is the 25th, and I just turned 25 this month.” It may not seem important to you, but those two “25’s” will forever help me remember this date.
To say this Wednesday began like any other is a lie. I was beyond nervous! My husband was with me, per my doctor’s request. Luckily, I’m blessed to have a partner who is the calm in my storms. He was holding my hand and encouraging me throughout our entire 17 hour (not really) wait in the waiting room. My nurse then came in and directed us to an exam room. After another seemingly 10 hours, my gynecologist finally arrived. Thank goodness she has the perfect combination of emotion and reality in her demeanor. If she hadn’t this meeting could have gone far different.
After sitting down, she gave it to me straight. With sadness in her eyes, she announced that I have cervical cancer. Although, I had imagined that idea in my head, I never could have been fully prepared to hear those words. Once it set in, my initial reaction was, “Well, now we finally have an answer!” Needless to say, my doctor was a little shocked at my response to this life-altering news. I asked if I could give her a hug. She said, “Of course! I wanted to right when I came in, but didn’t want to freak you out!”. Oh, Doc… a hug won’t freak me out! I dramatically thanked her for being such a blessing in our lives and for being the one and only doctor willing to go a little further and investigate something suspicious. She was and is my personal detective.
I then began to explain why my reaction was relief in hearing this news. Never thought you’d hear someone who just got diagnosed with cancer be relieved, did you?! Well, my relief stems from this ongoing unknown battle. I finally found out what I was fighting! When you know everything about your opponent, its weaknesses, strengths, favorite hang-outs, morals, and fighting tactics, you can better defeat it. Oh wait, did I say morals? Cancer doesn’t have any. It fights dirty. Which means, I have to fight dirtier. Now I finally know what to do. Now I am able to pick up my armor and weapons. I felt like I had been fighting a war with only my hands.
Once our hugging session was complete, my doctor further went on to explain to me the technicalities of the situation. I was staged at 1b2 originally. That’s right in between 1 and 2. There are 5 stages, so being in between the lowest was another relief. From what she could tell, the cancer is only on my cervix. My tumor is 4cm…about the size of a golf ball.
There are 3 options for treatment.
She highly recommended surgery. After asking what that would entail, I almost immediately regretted the question. I will have to have what’s called a “radical hysterectomy”. For those who don’t know what that is (I wish I still didn’t know), it’s a procedure in which the surgeon removes the entire uterus, cervix included, the surrounding walls, and the top part of the inside of my vagina. Luckily, the cancer hasn’t affected my ovaries, so we can keep those. Hooray. However, you kinda need a uterus to carry a baby. So, without one, I will never be able to be pregnant. For those who know me, this is a HUGE blow. I’ve spent my whole life desperately wanting children. Not only am I a stylist, but I’m also a nanny, and therefore my adoration of kids is obvious. Never in a million years, would I think me being pregnant would be compromised. We’ve imagined having children with disabilities, miscarriages, twins, but never the deleted option of pregnancy. Oh, well. Like I said, seemingly sarcastic above, hooray that we get to keep my ovaries. Seriously, HOORAY! Ovaries are what produce eggs. Eggs combined with sperm create babies. Babies only need A womb to live in for the first 9 months. Add this all together, and you get the option of surrogacy. Praise God for women out there who give their wombs as a gift to those of us who can’t carry our own.
Due to the option of surrogacy, my gynecologist further went on to explain that we will need to see a fertility doctor. I also need to meet with an oncologist- aka: cancer doctor. Thankfully, she knows a lot of great doctors in the area, and referred me to the best. And I mean, the best. You’ll find out in my upcoming entries, how great my team of doctors truly is. Not only will I be blessed with top-notch doctors, but God slipped another blessing into the mix. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is extremely expensive. However, the most expensive part of the process are the meds they have to put you on. Guess what? The Lance Armstrong Foundation (Fertile Hope) will be covering the costs for ALL of my fertility meds. How in the world do I qualify for that?! Well apparently, Lance Armstrong, because he fought cancer, started Fertile Hope for people affected by cancer who are unable to have children the traditional way. Thank you, God, for healing Lance Armstrong of cancer, so he can help us have children! He definitely thinks ahead. God always covers all the bases. My next step from this point will be to meet with my oncologist. I look forward to finding out more about this defeatable beast inside of me.
I am reminded that God has gone before me. Hallelujah.
“God is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; He won’t leave you. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t worry.”