Sunday, August 31, 2014

1 in 8 - The C Word

Turns out I'm the 1 in 8. A couple of weeks ago I heard the "c" word no one wants to hear. This week I'll have surgery to remove a cancerous lump from my breast. The lump is very small and the possibility of a complete cure is very good. But I'm still 1 in 8. 


My mother had breast cancer when she was a couple of years older than I am now. And yes, that's definitely a risk factor and the reason I've always been diligent about doing mammograms - at least until Mother needed someone to stay with her all the time. Then there was never enough time for all I needed to do with her care and my writing deadlines and .... well, you know, everything I wanted to do. 
 
I put off the mammograms for three years. Not a wise decision. So I feel blessed that the lump is small and that my delay in getting a mammogram may not have mattered. It probably wouldn't have shown up last year anyway. But the mammogram did show up a lump when I went for what I thought would be a routine test after Mom died. Further tests confirmed the diagnosis. And now on to surgery and radiation treatments. Not something I'm looking forward to, but something I know some of you have already faced. You may have faced even more drastic treatments.

There's a young woman I know in our community now who is taking her second round of chemo. Another dear writer friend, Judy Sliger, just passed away after a heroic fight with cancer. Not breast cancer, but ovarian cancer. She did years of chemo and was ever a spiritual light to her friends. She wrote a book, Take Heart, Prayers for the Terminally Ill. (See it on Amazon.) I just got my copy in the mail and the next day hear that she's gone on to heaven.  

Since my diagnosis, I have been humbled by the many people who are praying for me. What a special gift to give me! Their time, their moments with the Lord. I know you will be praying for me too and I thank you in advance. 

Kaelyn and me
You may remember my blog posts a couple of years ago about my great-niece, Kaelyn when she got to have her no more chemo party at St Jude after three years of chemo treatments to fight the leukemia that was trying to steal this beautiful child from us. She was diagnosed when she was five and she was covered with many prayers. Some of you prayed for her too. She's ten now. A couple of weeks ago I saw her when we went to a revival service her father was preaching. The first thing she said to me was "Aunt Ann, did you hear the news? I'm cured." St. Jude had given her that news a couple of weeks before when she went for a check-up. Now that's the "c" word we all want to hear. And one I expect to hear in due time. 

Thank you for reading. I do so appreciate each and every one of you. Also, if you're on my newsletter list, watch for one to show up in your e-mail boxes this week with a new giveaway chance. If you're not on my newsletter list, you can be. Just sign up here, http://bit.ly/Annsnewsltr.  

52 comments:

  1. Oh, Ann! When it rains, it pours, doesn't it? But I know God will see you through. My sister went through breast cancer surgery, chemo, and radiation a couple of years ago. She's doing well now. For her, it was about 6 months from surgery until all the treatments were finished, and then another couple of months to feel better and get her strength back. So keep your eyes and mind on next spring, when all of this will be behind you and you can enjoy the earth's awakening like never before. You'll be in my prayers.

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    1. It's good to hear that your sister is going all right now. We'll pray she makes it through those important extra three years with no problems. I won't have to do chemo or at least at this time they think I won't. I will look forward to moving on after the surgery and treatments. Thanks for your prayers, Nancy.

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  2. Oh, Dear Ann! To say I wish you were not one in eight is an understatement. I am sorry you have to face this scary news, surgery, and treatment but I know that God is with you and will guide your every step through this journey. Please know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers my friend. Melanie

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    1. Well, I have to agree that I wish I wasn't the one in eight too, but those odds are going to hit a lot of women, Melanie. It's good that we are aware of the odds and do exams and get those tests to catch it early the way mine was. I appreciate your prayers and concern. I'll update everybody after the surgery.

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    1. Thanks, Peggy Ann. I appreciate your prayers.

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  4. We'll be storming heaven on your behalf on Wednesday and beyond. We're also giving thanks your prognosis is so positive. Kaelyn is a great role model for her Great Aunt.

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    1. Thanks, Wendy. I do think the surgery will take care of the problem. Kaelyn had to face so much worse than I will. She was a little trooper all the way through once she came to terms with the fact that she was sick. She's quite the kid.

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  5. Oh, Ann! I am sorry to hear this news, but am so glad the lump is very small and the possibility of a complete cure is very good. You are in my thoughts and prayers!

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    1. Thanks,Britney. I appreciate my friends here and your concern and prayers.

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  6. Ann, I too have just found out that I am a 1 in 8. Will have surgery in a couple of weeks, as soon as my regular Dr. gets the paperwork in. Mine is also very small. Couldn't feel it with just an exam but the mammogram did the trick. I also expect a complete recover after surgery and radiation. I go to the Mitchell Cancer Institute in Mobile, AL. I have completely turned it over to God. He knows the plans He has for me and it is in His hands. Will be praying for you and your complete recovery.

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    1. I couldn't feel the lump either, Marilyn, even after the mammogram and ultrasound showed it was there. I've heard some say mammogram don't catch cancer but it did for us, didn't it? I'll be thinking about you as you go through treatment and praying you will have complete recovery too. I expect that to be true for both of us.

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  7. Hi Ann, Oh my, news no one wants to hear. My mom is a 3-year breast cancer survivor and she is doing great! She had surgery and radiation-no chemo. Her radiation oncologist is the best! Will be praying that God will continue to enfold you in His tender, loving care....In Christ's Love, Linda

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    1. Thanks, Linda. It's always good to hear about survivors and I'm so glad your mother was one and so was my mother. Thank you so much for your prayers. I am blessed by my friends here.

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  8. So very sorry to hear this. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    It is amazing the advances in Cancer research. It is a blessing you have Doctors that caught this, and know exactly what to do and are confident in their treatment. It is a blessing that it is small. You have so many people praying for you, I hope that is a true comfort to you.

    Prayers, Prayers and more Prayers.

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    1. It is a comfort and a humbling experience to have so many willing to say a prayer for me, Belinda. I do appreciate each and every one. I considered not sharing the diagnosis since the cancer is small and so many other needs might be greater than mine, but the Lord can't be limited in His power. He hears every prayer for the great needs, the middle sized needs and the little worries too. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

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  9. So sorry to hear your news, Ann, but thankful you caught it early. My sister had the same thing--lumpectomy and radiation. The cancer never came back. Praying the same for you. <3

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    1. That's what I'm expecting for me too, Ann. I appreciate your prayers and so glad your sister is a survivor.

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  10. My prayers are with you.

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    1. Thank you, Brenda. I appreciate your thoughts and prayers.

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    1. Thank you, Carissa. Praying for someone is a gift.

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  12. Oh my dear friend. That letter we all dread to hear. Will be praying that you will be fine. That they caught it in time for not having time to spread. We will pray for a miracle and I know gives them for we have been blessed with many in our big family. You will be covered with many, many prayers. Will look forward to when they tell you you are healed. GOD Bless you and your family. Love you lady. <3
    Maxie Anderson

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    1. Thank you, Maxie. I knew I could count on your prayers. I'm expecting a best case scenario and healing to be waiting in the wings for me.

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  13. I found out last weekend that one of my dear friends also has stage 1 breast cancer. She had a lumpectomy on Friday and will also being following it up with chemo. I will be praying for you, Jodie and the rest of the woman out there fighting this.

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    1. Wishing your friend healing and as low level or discomfort as possible. Right now, chemo is not on the table, but it may be put there according to what is found during the surgery. 1 in 8 is a lot of women fighting this fight. Thank you for your prayers, Shaun.

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    2. That's supposed to be as low level of discomfort. I forgot to proofread. :(

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  14. 1 in 8 is such a scary number. So thankful that your's was caught early. Will be praying for good results on Wednesday & a speedy recovery.

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    1. I'm thankful too, EJ. Early is good. I appreciate your prayers for that speedy recovery. That's what I want.

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  15. Good morning Ann, I got my newsletter this am sent to Paula Stoakes, last name not me but happy to read your news anyway...maybe you can get them to fix the name for next one. Death must come as we get older and I lost two in our family this year too. When I want to cry, I remember the sweet memories and feel a little better.
    I love reading your books and was surprised when you mentioned me from my goodreads comments on one of yours. thanks -glad it touched you as you have touched my life since I found your books and learned you lived not far from my sister in Ky. Hoping fall will soon be here as we have had a very hot summer in Ga.
    Many birthdays in our family this month, Happy Birthday on yours. Two sisters in Texas celebrate theirs , sent a pkg of books this morning,we all like to read.
    Keep writing and I will keep reading.
    Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

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    1. I'll make a note to change your name, Paula. Glad you got the newsletter and enjoyed it. Comments from readers are always touching. I like getting good remarks. And I'm so glad you read my books. It's great having reading friends like you. It's fun to talk books with your sisters, isn't it?

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  16. I'm so glad she was cured, and she's such a cutie!

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    1. Kaelyn is a beautiful young girl, inside and out, Melinda. She had some special experiences while she was treating for the cancer and it made her compassionate and outgoing.

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  17. I am so sorry to hear of the diagnosis. I will send a prayer request to our prayer group....they are powerful and have wonderful connections. My mother had breast cancer at the age of 29, so I too am someone who needs to check on a regular basis.
    I know you are a strong woman and you will have a strong recovery. Please take care and God Bless.
    annettena at yahoodotcom

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    1. Thank you and your prayer group so much for lifting me up in prayer, Annette. I had so many people praying for me that I almost floated into the operating room and I'm recovering very nicely today. You do need to stay on top of the tests. That was very young to have breast cancer.

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  18. Will be praying for you, Ann. Sending love and hugs your way. And Birthday wishes too! :)

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    1. Thanks for the prayers, Karen. And the hugs and birthday wishes too.

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  19. One in eight women is a scary number Ann. A breast biopsy in late April helped me to realize you never know what might happen. I will keep you and your loved ones in thoughts and prayers during this new challenge. God is with you always!

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    1. Thanks so much, Noelle. I appreciate your thoughts and prayers. Always good to hear from you. One in eight is a scary number.

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  20. God bless you and all who have received the c word in diagnosis! I keep all in
    prayer who are in need of His healing touch. I will also add you to our parish
    Book of Prayers which will have the entire parish lifting you up in prayer.

    Pat Cochran

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    1. Thank you so much for your prayers and those of your parish. I am humbled by the many people willing to say a prayer for my health. So many are in need of the Lord's healing touch.

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  21. I had a sm, lump for years, lucky for me it was just a lump of breast tissue. They did alot of retakes on the mammogram & ultrasounds, they also did a core biopsy. Thankfully it hasn"t been cancer. Prays will be sent for you, and those involved in performing your surgery.

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    1. Not good having to have all those extra tests though, Jolynn. The biopsy was no fun at all, but I'm glad they found it wasn't cancer. Thank you for your prayers.

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  22. Bonus entry: Hoping you had a Wonderful birthday, with fond memories.
    I forgot to give my email address with my other entry.
    Jolynn_Reads at yahoo dot com Thanks Jolynn

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  23. Dear Ann , I am so sorry to hear this news. PRAYING that Jesus will be ALL THAT HE IS during this time and your recovery will be swift. Remember GOD IS ABLE!!

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    1. God is able, Barbara. Thanks for that reminder. I'm doing well and looking forward to complete recovery soon.

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  24. Oh Ann! Praise the Lord you caught it while it is small. I will pray for you to have a successful and relatively pain free recovery. I know you are strong and HE is stronger! Joy in the journey, my friend...

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    1. Thank you, Anne. There is joy in most every journey. All my friends praying for me has been a joy.

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  25. I'm so sorry about your diagnosis and surgery.I will be praying for you.

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    1. Thanks, Lisa. Surgery went well and recovery is progressing. I appreciate your prayers.

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  26. Hi again :) I just read this post on your blog & so very sorry to hear about your Big C diagnosis. I am sending positive thoughts to you for fast healing & a cured diagnosis. I think I got my first mammogram at age 41 or 42..I am now 48 & missed last year because the program for low income women was discontinued & I couldn't afford to get the screening done. This year I went to the health department & they had funds (they had 1 slot left so I was lucky) so I was able to get one free of charge thankfully! I intend to get one every year & hopefully if I have any abnormalities it will detect them~I know it's better to risk the screening missing something than not going at all..oh, & praise the lord that your great-niece is cured..how fabulous!! Give her a big hug & congratulations from me! I have 1 niece, Payton & she is 12 & such a blessing in my life..God bless you, Melissa from western Missouri~melly66(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

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Thanks for joining the conversation. I like hearing what you have to say. Thanks for dropping by.