Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Q is for ~~the Quiet wait

continued from last post

                                                     Quiet Wait                 

At home my Husband took charge and he was my nurse. (A cute one at that!) when it was time to empty drain pumps for the first time I was terrified. These pumps were connected by tubes that were connected to me. The very first session took forever because I could not quell the tears. I couldn't look at my chest and I worried that he would be scared of what he would see. I sat on the edge of the bed and he patiently waited until I was ready.

He bent down to open my robe and carefully removed the very tight surgical bra I was to wear day and night. I looked deep into his eyes for any sign of fear or repulsion. His beautiful blue eyes would be my mirror and my gauge of how bad it really was. All I saw reflected back was the love he had for me.

 He saw what I didn't have the strength to see and he was OK. I fell in love with him all over again. It was a few days before I could look in the mirror. There was a scar across were my breast should of been and it continued under my arm pit. We quietly continued our daily routines.

This was out of my hands.

I placed this burden in God's hands. I was too over whelmed to carry it myself. So you see when I am called brave I wasn't really. I just gave my fears to HIM and  his grace got me through I know and believe that with all my heart.

Two weeks later My husband and I sat quietly in another waiting room waiting for my appointment. I sat nervously pretending to read a magazine. The words on the page made no sense and my mouth was dry with anticipation. I would find out that day what stage my cancer was in and if I needed to have further treatment. During the operation they had  also removed lymph nodes . It was those lymph nodes that would determine my next step.  My stomach was in huge twisting ever tighter knots.

My Hubby pretended to be calm but I could see the  clenching in his jaw that signified his fear for me. In this waiting room there were women starting  their Journey and woman who were experts in this life. They all wore the same facial expression. It's a look I cannot describe, But I know too well because I saw it every time I entered those rooms. I saw it in the mirror. It is the look behind the eyes. It is a deep solemn fear questioning and wondering...why, how. and What IF. Every cancer patient and family member has it. It is truly a family disease.

But there was another look that I saw ...This was a suprise to was the feeling of strength. It was amazing to witness and be a part of it. People from all walks together giving each other strength and encouragement. At every appointment there were people sharing comfort.There were even some smiles and laughs.

 Finally my name was called. My husband and I nervously walked in. In the exam room I could feel the nausea trying to overtake me. The doctor walked in and after pleasantries she opened my chart.

"OK, as you know the cancer was in a larger area than we originally thought. The test that were done on the lymph nodes that were removed came back.... clear." she stopped.

It didn't register in my brain

"Clear?" my Husband asked

"No cancer in the Lymph node?" I asked

"That's right" she smiled. "No Chemo for you young lady. Now technically even though you've  had a mastectomy you are stage zero. "

Stage ZERO. How could that be? I found out that if I had waited just a bit longer my situation would have been completely different. The cancer invaded the whole entire breast but had not reached the Lymph nodes. It had not touched the Lymph nodes. Even when I go to my regular doctor she cannot believe that they were able to get all the cancer.

My Surgeon explained that I would have to be monitored closely for the next few years. I would have numerous regular Contrast MRIs and Mammograms. It would be a while before I would be considered a survivor, but that moment, that day I felt  FREE.  I cried and hugged her and hugged my husband we thanked God right there in that exam room and my Doctor was delighted. I left smiling and could hardly contain myself. 

 When we got in the car I screamed with the joy that I could only describe as Heaven Sent Euphoria. I felt  REBORN!!!!  Later that year I had plastic surgery and now if you saw me you'd never know. Though at times I catch people that know staring...I guess they are trying to guess which one!

Did this experience change me? YES!!! I am closer to God. I feel like I am a better Mom and Wife.   I was left with a feeling that I was a witness to many miracles. I was left with a joyous contentment with life and a greater appreciation of EVERYTHING around me.  

This year I was told that I am officially a survivor and as much as that thrilled me there is still that little cancer voice inside my head that says "Hey I can come back anytime." I feel an odd guilt for surviving this when so many do not. I was very began with a strange pain that had nothing to do with my cancer that  prompted my doctor to remind me

"Hey, you are over due for your mammo"  it was as simple as that.

My journey was by no means extraordinary or even harder than others. I know I got off easy. I'm alive and heathly. I know it could have been worse. As I write this I think of all my new blogger world friends who are going through horrendous trials in their lives. People that have lost children, who have deseases that are insidiously trying to take over. There are friends that have lost their spouses. I am humbled at their courage to keep going and write joyfully of life. Everyday they put a smile on my face.

 Thank you for being so patient and sweet as my words were like a runaway train out of my brain into this blog.  Tommorrow I promise it'll be short and sweet.

But just one more question..."When was your last Mammo? Is it over-due?" You are so important to people that love you. They want you to be healthy too.

 Blessings and Health to you all ,  Joanne


  1. You say your words were a bit long...but it seemed like a very short time till I was finished and I was wanting more. I am so very glad for the outcome, and that you didn't have to have chemo. Your story has been truly amazing to read and a testament to your faith in God as well. Give your husband a big kiss for me, he rocks!

  2. wow you are an amazing woman thank you for sharing this it's stories like yours that give me strength to fight another day even when i don't want to. also BRAVO to your man for being so wonderful. hugs

  3. I am so very glad you shared your story. If you have helped one family dealing with this then you will have made a difference. And that is what life is about, paying it forward.
    I have a mammo each year and it is just about time for me again.
    Bless you!

  4. "I placed this burden in God's hands. I was too over whelmed to carry it myself. So you see when I am called brave I wasn't really. I just gave my fears to HIM and his grace got me through I know and believe that with all my heart."

    2 Corinthians 12:9

    Thanks again for sharing!

  5. Wow Joanne. You've been through such a frightening ordeal. I'm glad you're still here. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  6. What a wonderful, compassionate story of life and love. My father cared for my mom for years before she passed away. I saw him do everything for her, and when I say everything I mean EVERYTHING. That set the example for how I want my own marriage to be. Blessings to you Joanne.

  7. bless you...

    you rock.

    your hubby is cool, so are you.
    both of you are divine souls.

  8. wonderful story. You are a strong woman to have survived this ordeal. thank you for sharing. It's such an inspiration to meet you through this A-Z

  9. Loved the rest of the story. I am so thankful that you had the surgery when you did. This is the story of a miracle.

    I think you are so right. Cancer is a family disease. Thankfully, you have a wonderful husband that supported you every step of the way.

    My last mamo was in January.

  10. @ Ginny~ Thanks~ he's a keeper!

    @ Becca~ Thanks. I think you are very brave and strong.

    @ Beth~ Oh wouldn't that be great if this post helped someone! It would make me so happy to know that!

    @ Mindy~ Thanks for the verse. I will look it up tonight.

    @ Michelle Teacress~ Thank You for reading it! and for your sweet comments.

    @ Tracy~ Oh what a wonderful Dad! How blessed you are to have witnessed that love!

    @ Jingle~ Thank you, he is my soulmate. I am very lucky.

    @ nutschell~ Thank You! I will make sure to stop by your blog too!

    @ Retired English Teacher~ Thank You! My Husband is a very loving man~ I am blessed.

  11. What a beautiful story and no matter what your brush with cancer was you still made it threw it.

    Reminds me of that great song by Newsboys "Reborn" beautiful song to go with your beautiful story!

  12. Joanne, thank you for sending me the links to your posts. I will read each one. This brought tears to my eyes and I am so thankful for the blessing you were given. My fears last week were nothing compared to what you have been through. I will keep you in my prayers and am thanking God for his grace.


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