Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Amazing Grace

This past month FB has popped up with lots of memories from last today being the anniversary of my Pre-op Appointment for my Bilateral Mastectomy!

What a crazy and surreal time that was but also amazing!  I know, I does someone refer to a breast cancer diagnosis and subsequent life-altering surgery as "amazing"?

Well, I'll tell you.....

#1: God is good...ALL the time. (Say it with me) And, ALL the time, God is GOOD!
Even in the worst moments, He is in control.  When we don't understand, He does. Once you relinquish control and let HIM guide, great things can happen.  God put me in all the right places at the right time.

Some of you know this, but I was not even supposed to be in San Antonio at the time of my diagnosis. If things had gone according to plan, I would have gotten married the Summer before and moved out of town.  Obviously, having my heart broken and a relationship ending was NOT something I saw as a blessing at the time!  But, in hindsight, God knew where I needed to be, who I needed to be with, and what catalyst it would take to get me there.  That relationship ending gave me the push I needed to leave my job and get back to work in the NICU that I love.  If I had not changed jobs when I did, I would have had an entirely different course of care, physicians, etc. Because of my job, I was in position to work with one of the top surgical oncologists and a renowned plastic surgery group who performed a "gold standard" type of reconstruction!  I was also surrounded by a team of people I love and who love me and supported me throughout the whole journey.  God knew....even when I didn't....amazing!

#2:  You never know how you will be used.
As a nurse, its my job to help people. I think that most nurses feel some inner calling to do just that...just part of our nature.  As a NICU nurse, I never in a million years thought I'd have anything to do with oncology...breast cancer in particular.  Because of my diagnosis, I have met so many people...other women touched by breast cancer, family members and friends.  I have friends now that I would never have met.
By sharing my story openly, other women have been helped.  I've volunteered as a patient advocate with two groups and am always willing to lend an ear to another fighter/survivor.  Who would have thought I'd be
walking in breast cancer 5Ks, attending breast cancer awareness events, and blogging my personal life for the world?  My son grew a lot throughout this past year and has participated in events with me too. I believe he will have a better compassion and understanding for others in his life now. Even though this isn't the path I would have chosen, I am happy and blessed that God has allowed me to be used through it.  It is amazing is it to be able to help others!

#3: Grace is typically defined as "the free and unmerited favor of God".  My
breast cancer was caught early (Stage 0) and was contained (DCIS, non-invasive). I got my biopsy within days of the ultrasound that found it. My surgery (within 2 months later) was successful. No other locations were found and my lymph nodes were clear. Yes, I had a bilateral mastectomy, but I woke up chemo, no radiation.  My recovery was certainly not a breeze, but it was relatively complication free. My revision surgery gave me exactly what I needed and again was complication free.  My overall results (all completed within 1 calendar year) are wonderful. I was significantly blessed!  I know this even more than ever before in my life. I am grateful for things..little things...more than before. I  found out that I am as strong as I hoped I'd be in the face of a scary thing and happier than I imagined I would be again.  And, I surely feel HIS amazing grace in my life.

Here's hoping you feel HIS Amazing Grace in your life this week!