Tuesday, August 06, 2013

The Unexpected Journey Ahead


This picture was taken two months ago, when we had a party for Karis' third birthday, and Mattea's first birthday. Jennifer had just completed her surgery. My surgery was at the end of the following week. We worried about juggling kids, eating right, losing weight, and what was going to happen with the church following VBS.

This day was a happy day. We had fun with friends from church, my mom was in town, I got to barbeque and wear a beach shirt for most of the day. What could be better?

Now, two months later, the world looks a lot different. As of yesterday our suspicions were confirmed, Jennifer has breast cancer. It is a disease that her mother and grandmother have survived, and she plans to beat it as well.

As of today, we are unsure of what is ahead. We can't get in to see the surgeon until next week. They have not told us what kind of cancer we are looking at. The have not told us what "stage" we are at either. We are waiting for news, and eager to get an aggressive game plan established. But, for right now we are waiting. We are, so to speak, in "cancer limbo land".

Our plans are to be as aggressive as possible in fighting the cancer that is trying to kill Jennifer.

Many of you are asking how Jennifer is. The answer is, it depends. She has her good moments and her bad moments. Sometimes she is on the brink of tears, then she is angry and screaming, and then she just wants to hold those she loves as close as she can. And, this is all to be expected. Especially at this stage in the process of living with cancer. She is working on staying positive, and doing pretty well at it. There are also sometimes she is afraid she will die and her children will not remember her.

The truth is, people do die from breast cancer, but a majority do survive. Mortality rates are higher for people Jennifer's age, but that is because early detection is much more common among older women. And the breast tissue among younger women more is more dense, which makes discovery of lumps and bumps more challenging.

Interestingly, we may have gastric sleeve surgery to thank for detecting Jennifer's breast cancer when she did. Perhaps over 50 lbs of weight loss made the cancerous mass more easily detectable, and easier to discover.

Here are a few of the articles I have discovered about breast cancer with younger women.

http://www.youngsurvival.org/breast-cancer-in-young-women/learn/statistics-and-disparities/

http://www.webmd.com/breast-cancer/features/who-gets-breast-cancer-who-survives


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