Posted by: fosteringcare | March 15, 2011

It’s Real

3/15/2011 12:48am

Oh God, it all hit me tonight. This is real. I have Breast Cancer. I have an appointment at 2pm with a Plastic Surgeon to discuss my Mastectomy. The surgery date will be set and this will really happen.

Trying to go to sleep tonight, I raised my arm over my head to roll over and felt a small pain from when they biopsied my lymph nodes. The thought crossed my mind, “Oh man, I think that hurts? How much is it going to hurt after the mastectomy?” All of a sudden it was real. I’ve been talking about it so matter-of-factly, explaining details and coasting along, wondering when it was going to FEEL real. Well it does.
   I have always HATED to cause anyone hurt or sadness, HATED to disappoint anyone. I have been so focused on the pain and worry this is causing my friends and family that I have not allowed myself to feel anything about myself.  I reached up to rub the spot in my armpit that hurt and it all crashed in on me. It is too much to process. I really believe my brain was somehow trying to protect itself from taking everything in. Talking to my daddy was the catalyst I think. My big, strong daddy who always fixed my problems is helpless. My heart couldn’t ignore that. My brain couldn’t convince itself to not think about it. I feel like I have just put a HUGE, suffocating cloud into the lives of everyone I love, and the responsibility of so many people’s pain is too much for me. In my head I know I did not “cause” this, I also know it’s “the cancer” that is hurting everyone…but the cancer is in ME, I am the carrier of the cause. Tonight I finally realized that I am also the one who is going to be cut and poisoned and cooked and thrown into menopause to try to get rid of it. All of the facts came pouring in; two weeks after the mastectomy, chemo will be started. Two weeks after that, my hair WILL fall out. I will be in pain, be causing pain, AND I will be bald.
   It is too much. I want to hibernate. I want to go away and deal with this alone, not involve anyone else and come back when it’s “over”. When my scars are healed and my hair is back.
   I am slowly processing the thought that is isn’t so much “being needy”- letting people “do” for me and my family- that bothers me, it is the fact that people are worried about me, scared for me, will see me in pain and will see me sick… and I will be helpless to protect them from it.
I now feel like an actual member of the Cancer Club.

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Responses

  1. Oh Jane…I hate the pain I read in this post, but am glad you’re letting yourself be real.

    I am so very sorry about all that you are going through, and I too wish we could just fast forward. But I pray that God would work in and through you as you face this.

    I pray that His supernatural peace work in your heart and mind, and thereby in those walking at your side through it all.

    We don’t understand much about what happens, but when we are confused we can go to that which of we are confident…that God is God, He’s in control, and best yet…He’s good. That doesn’t necessarily make your journey easier, but it does give you His solid character to cling to as you go.

    Know that I, like so many others who love you, am praying for you even now, and will continue, as I watch for His goodness to shine through as He carries you through this.

    May you find rest in His supply of good doctors and intelligent diagnosis and treatment. And may He use you to be a blessing and a testimony of His being bigger than cancer to all the various people (nurses, techs, etc.) that you will meet along the way.

    Love love love from Italy,
    Amer

  2. Dear, Sweet, Strong, Jane,

    I don’t know what it is about us that makes us think we can shield others from pain. Sometimes we can circumvent it for awhile. But once sin tainted our world, there is only ONE way through the pain for any of us. JESUS!!
    Sometimes it is pain that brings us face to face with God….so instead of feeling overwhelmed for those who love you and are in pain…..know that this can draw them to a deeper relationship with him. When we have things we can fix…we can live like we don’t need God.
    I have learned that the only way I can TRUELY help the people I love deal with pain, is to direct them to the one who will conquer it all. I don’t have to prove I am strong, only that I know WHO to lean on when this broken world proves yet again, that it too, is groaning for the perfection only our God can bring!!
    When you have a chance, I would encourage you to read some of Davids psalms. He puts our hurts, that are so raw, into words that resonate in your soul……and God beautifully inspires his words to bring comfort to those DEEP places.

    I love you, my sister-in-the-Lord!! Keep writing…it seemed to help David clear his mind. Praying diligently, Karen

    P.S. The hair thing….you may wind up with the staight hair you wanted years ago!! As a hairdresser, I have seen it happen!! Besides, you’ve got the “sas” to pull off one of those adorable bandana’s and probably start a trend! 🙂 ❤

  3. I love you! I understand that this is something that you have to go to terms with on your own. But wanted to tell you I LOVE YOU and I am here for you whenever you need me.

  4. My dear precious Jane, how I wish I could “kiss it and make it all better”!!! But as the others have said we have an amazing God Who is there for you and the rest of us to see us through this. I cannot imagine what you are feeling as you realize and face what lies ahead, but you know you have a lot of people who love you who are there for you and who are lifting you up in prayer regularly. How thankful I am that my son went to Grace Bible College all the way in Michigan, met his “Jersey-girl” and brought her into our family. We love you with all our hearts.

  5. Loving you.

  6. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Being able to comminucate and put it all into words is an unbelievable gift that permits us all to be moved by your experience. You are an inspiration!

  7. Jane,
    I have no great words of wisdom, so I’ll “lead you to the rock that is higher than I” and the words of the 61st Psalm that carried me through many days. We are still praying for you and your family
    Love,
    Lori

  8. Jane,

    You probably don’t remember me — Beth & I were in Byrd School together. Anyway, I read your posts (nice job, btw) and what struck me in this specific one is something you posted in an earlier one, when you said what you DO know:

    I know I have a God that doesn’t leave me alone in the hard places, and will not leave me alone now.

    That same is true for your friends and family. You’re strong, you come from good strong, loving stock. Let them love you!

    My own thoughts and prayers are with you — go kick that cancer’s butt back to oh, I don’t know where!

    Kate Sieghardt Achelpohl

  9. I don’t know you, but can relate to everything you share. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2011. On 2/14/2011 I had a double mastectomy. Next week I begin chemo. I too kept my emotions at bay. I have a hudband and 2 girls. My thoughts turned to “I need to be OK for them”. They are all hurting as are many friends and family. They will struggle with the exact words and for us there are some days where any word brings comfort and then there are days where no matter the word it doesn’t erase the TODAY of what we feel.

    It’s SO brave to express what you are feeling and get it out. It is also SO healthy to as well. I held it is until this week. I have let it all come as a big wave crashing in and it’s been good and overwhelming at the same time. I find journaling to be a great source of comfort. It’s also good to reach out to others that have gone through this journey… that, for me, gives me HOPE. I cling to HOPE a lot these days.

    I read that your friends and family know of as you do God. HE is healer. HE is miracle worker. As you know HE is with you and will never leave you nor forsake you. Don’t lose sight of HIM through this process. Remember “faith looks up… worry looks around”. HE is closest when we are most in need. Lean on HIM!!

    Allow your family and friends to be there… to help you… to let you go through the pain and emotions. It’s OK!! They may have lots of questions and it’s because they want to arm themselves with as much information to help you through it. It isn’t because they are trying to know for themselves down the road. So, be open… if you don’t have the answers just tell them that.

    I wish I could say the journey is easy… Just know the mastectomy, though a tough procedure… will actually be ok. I promise you that. Now I can’t offer an opinion on chemo, yet…

    I will lift you and your family in prayer as you start this journey.

  10. Jane, Colleen Conine sent me to your blog site. I was diagnosed with breast cancer about 6 weeks ago on Feb 2nd. I am 34 and I have 4 children at home. It has been a whirl wind. It was great to read what you wrote. I am struggling to find the time to journal. I wrote some this morning but sometimes it takes so long to write the details I don’t get to write the emotions. I remember be frustrated that as a help mate I try to make my husbands life easier and with cancer it is impossible. He is a pastor and there are times that he carries alot of stress but we can laugh and leave it for a bit, but with the cancer we can’t leave the stress because it follows us into bed. I understand when everyone gives you the phone numbers, it is overwhelming. They just want to help, and it is more about the other person wanting to share their story and be an encouragement to you in some way. This is a time in your life that you get to be selfish. I have found my favorite survivors to speak with and have ignored the rest. One survivor is full of hope and she tells me you will be fine and you will get through this. I have a survivor that says, oh I am so sorry , it is really hard what you are going through. She validates my feelings. And I have another survivor who came on to strong in the beginning and was giving me all the side effects I would encounter with chemo and what to do with them and she depressed and overwhelmed me because I still did not know where I was at with surgery decisions.
    I have completed one chemo session and I have my second one Tuesday the 22nd. I remember being scared of the surgery but I am on the other side of that now and doing well. God will be faithful to carry you through each step giving you the information you need at that time. Take care and God Bless you. Christy Waunch

    • I really appreciate everyone’s encouragement and support. Writing has ALWAYS been my outlet for my emotions…though having the courage to share those emotions is fairly new! I will continue to be as open and honest as this journey progresses, so buckle-up!
      Lisa and Christy, thank you for also sharing your individual journies so far, please keep me posted and I pray we can continue to travel them together.


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