Friday, July 8, 2016

Encouraged by Good News...

These last two weeks have been some of the hardest in my life. I'm sure Rob would say the same. One of the biggest things I want to say to everyone who read the difficult news of my breast cancer diagnosis is "Thank you!" We have never felt more loved and supported and prayed for than we did this past week. I think the thing that has impacted me the most is the peace I have felt knowing so many of you are praying for me and Rob and the kids as we walk this difficult path. We have a long road ahead and many hard decisions to make, yet we have confidence that we do not walk through this alone. For that we are immeasurably grateful.

We got some very good news today. It has been a week of many tests and doctor appointments and we are not finished with all consultations, but we walked away from today very encouraged. After MRI and PET scan results, it was confirmed that this is an early stage cancer and is contained to one small tumor and one lymph node. For those of you interested, it was classified as T1N1M0, which as best I can tell is stage 2a. This is very encouraging in that with that classification comes a very good prognosis. Because of my age and the fact that it is in one lymph node, it does seem that chemo, radiation and surgery (not necessarily in that order) will be necessary and will give me the best prognosis in the long term.

My next steps are to meet again with the medical oncologist, who now has all the pathology and test results to give his recommendation for whether we do chemo before or after surgery. Also, we met with the surgeon and radiation oncologist today and our minds are swimming with information and statistics. The biggest decision I need to make is what type of surgery to have. We'd really appreciate continued prayers as we pray through and consider all the information we've been given to decide the extent of surgery to have.

Even with all these doctor appointments and tests, we've really been able to enjoy our vacation week with Rob's extended family. We've had beach days, pool days, a Fourth of July BBQ, a fun day at the waterpark in Wildwood and lots of family fun. It's been a good week. We are looking forward to spending time with my side of the family next week as well. All these activities are things we had originally planned for furlough, and we've been glad to still have this precious time with family.

Please continue to pray, it accomplishes much!
  • Pray for clear direction for the extent to surgery to have 
  • Pray for my team of doctors as they consult to develop a clear recommendation regarding a treatment plan
  • Pray for wisdom as we decide whether obtain a second opinion
  • Pray for us as as family. We hope to still be able to continue in the next few weeks some of the fun plans we had made and looked forward to for the last 2 years in Haiti. There are going to be many changes in the weeks and months to come, please pray for Rob and the kids as they walk through this with me.
Written with much love and appreciation,

Friday, July 1, 2016

Difficult News...

We have some difficult news to share... We recently found out that Becky has breast cancer. We are shocked and stunned to say the least. We had no concerns when we came to the US. But, during a routine mammogram, something seemed suspicious and required followup. After further investigation, including a biopsy, they have confirmed that it is breast cancer.

As you can imagine, we have a billion questions with no answers. But, here is what we do know...
  • God is able. God is in this and will use it for His glory and our good. We trust him.
  • Dr. appointments have already started. There will be 5 within the next 7 days. We are in the information gathering stage, including lots of scans and tests to determine the correct treatment plan. So far we have been told to expect surgery, chemotherapy, and likely radiation. But, a firm treatment plan can't be finalized until we know more.  Next major appointment is next Thursday when we will develop a treatment plan after seeing the results of all of these scans.
  • We have heard story after story of women who have had breast cancer and have survived. This encourages us.
  • We have many who love us, will pray for us, and will walk through this with us. It is a blessing to have friends and family who equally honor/trust the Lord and who will encourage us to remain in him. We need this and lean on this.
  • We are currently in NJ with family and plan to remain here for treatment.
  • Although we don't know what the future looks like, we know we can't return home to Haiti on schedule.
  • We will take this one day at a time, trusting in and looking for the purposes of God. Again, he has purpose in this for his glory and our good.
  • Please pray earnestly for all of us, Becky, Rob and the kids, as we continue through this journey.
Need some encouragement?  Read the recent writings of a friend of ours over at the Unlocking the Bible blog. You can check it out here.

Rob and Becky