Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Putting The Puzzle Together

Another chapter in my journey with breast cancer.  I hope you see yourself in the midst of my struggles, joys, storms, and days of adventure.  It is my prayer that you can relate them to your own journey, knowing that no matter the circumstances, God is faithful and Jesus walks with us.  We are never alone.

When our oldest daughter was here she brought a 1000 piece puzzle along to work on.  It tweeked my interest, so as soon as I felt up to it Joel and I headed out to Hobby Lobby to buy a puzzle.  I found a 500 piece one that was a country fall scene....my favorite season of the year!

We put the last pieces in place just last night after working on it off and on for a couple of weeks. Joel and I sometimes worked on it together so when there was only 20 pieces left I invited him to come put the finishing touches on the puzzle with me. First we both commented that it did not look like we had enough pieces to finish and then we noticed that even with just a few pieces left, we were struggling with getting them in place.  We had to turn, twist, study, and try more than once to make them fit.  There was a sense of accomplishment when we finished, and it was a pretty scene to enjoy.

Later Joel mentioned how the past few months of my life have been like a puzzle.  After the storm named breast cancer hit, all the pieces of our lives were tossed in the air and we had to start over putting the pieces together.  The border of a puzzle is pretty easy to put in place, but finding where each piece goes takes time and effort.  So it was with the tsunami wave, as Ann Voskamp would call it.  The medical world gave us the facts and the options we needed.  This formed the border.  Tests, surgery, recovery, and radiation were pieces of the puzzle that needed to be put into place for the best outcome.  At times is was not easy, it was just plain awful, but we kept going.

Now we are down to the last 20 pieces of the puzzle.  Thursday I go in to see the radiology oncologist to make sure all is looking well.  It is and I am sure I will have the green light to go ahead and wear a bra, use deoderant, and stop the three times a day treatments of the skin.  More pieces in place!

The final 10 pieces will require prayer, research, and hearing from God.  I see the clinical oncologist the same day to discuss hormone therapy since the cancer I had was hormone positive.  The medication has several tough common side effects and because it puts you at risk for fractures and bone loss, the Dr. wants me to take a drug for that too.  The side effects for that are really scary. There are several inhibitor drugs to try, if one causes issues, the next might work, etc. etc.  The Dr. pretty much told me she does not know if I can take them but we will just keep trying.

It is difficult to see how those final pieces will fit.  I have facts, statistics, possibilities, and more, but no one can tell me if I will be one of the ones who the med works for.  I looked up one well know cancer center out east and the doctor said that each patient needs to make this decision for themselves weighing in side effects and percentages, etc.  I did not feel that was an option when I went to the cancer center here.  Just what the doctor thought was best.  I am grateful for her expertise, but know that the final decision is up to Joel, me and God.

I have been pretty stressed about this lately.  Fear fueling the what ifs and maybes, etc.  Today, it all came to a head, and after talking with Joel we came to the conclusion that with prayer, listening for God's voice and His Word, research on percentages, the doctors words, and finding out if any alternative treatments are out there, I am sure we will be able to complete this puzzle and enjoy the results.  One day at a time!


NanaNor's said...

Dear Renee, It is so reassuring to know God is ultimately in control and will lead you. You are wise dear friend to research all the drugs and their potential side effects. My oldest daughter's mil was diagnosed 16 yrs ago and had the surgery, radiation, chemo etc. They told her they were just trying to give her extra time. On of the drugs to help with bone loss actually, within the last 5 yrs, caused unwanted issues(broken bones etc). I'm not sharing to add to your concern or stress, but indeed to tell you to seek Him first of all and not let any doctor tell you what you must do or make those choices for you. I will be praying for you and for His wisdom to flood you and Joel. Maybe the oncologist back east can give you better answers as to all the potential issues. God's hand is surely on you both and I know that His grace will cover you!
Love and prayers.

Renee said...

Thank you Noreen. Your prayers are so appreciated. I had researched the drugs for bone loss and was not willing to take them. God is guiding us with what to do. Hugs....