Growing up in Northwestern Colorado I was blessed to live with beauty all around me. Beauty in the streams where my mom taught me to dip my toes on a hot summer day. Beauty in the mountains that surrounded our little hidden treasure of a town. Beauty in the Aspen trees that would turn so golden in the Fall and allow me to etch my name in their trunk for future generations to see. Beauty in the river where I could float on an inner tube to the 10th street bridge. Beauty in the soft cool grass behind our house, where deer would bed down for an late afternoon rest. In my mind I can picture a familiar place, an open field nestled in the mountains; wild flowers scattered here and there and a bright blue sky with fluffy white clouds gently floating above me. In this place I can find it....rest....peace.
I am beginning a journey, one which I never would have asked for, but yet have been given. One week ago today I sat in a Doctor's office for a one week follow-up appointment after the removal of a vaginal lesion. This lesion was not of huge concern as my body has produced many odd things over the last 12 years. I've had a dermoid tumor the size of a grapefruit, adhesions, cysts, endometriosis. I've had a paper thin uterus at one point and now a uterus that tilts backward. All of these things have been "fixable" or without complication so that I could be blessed with two beautiful children and all that life could offer me. However, this time the doctor came in without words of encouragement; instead words of despair. This particular lesion came back from pathology showing active glandular cancer cells in the vaginal tissue and lymphatic tissue. I was gently told that I have a very rare type of vaginal cancer and that the road ahead could be long and hard. I was told this is "life changing" cancer.
With a pit in my stomach I faced my sweet husband with the news and together we told our family and friends. How hard it is to see the sadness and grief on so many faces, but what an outpouring of love we've seen already.
As surreal as it was, five days ago I sat in an Oncology office hearing that I could be one in three Americans diagnosed with this type of cancer in a given year. This is true if the removed lesion was the primary location of the cancer, but more tests must be done to prove that the cancer is not coming from anywhere else in my body. To prove this I've had a PET scan, where they injected me with radioactive sugar water (simple terms) to do the most thorough check from head to knee. I've had a CAT scan where I was injected with an intravenous contrast material that made my body temperature rise to the point my mouth was too dry to swallow and my contacts were drying on my eyes. As quickly as the heat came it went away. As I lay in this machine, my body being scanned for 45 minutes, I can picture myself running barefoot in the green field of grass and flowers feeling peaceful, at rest, carefree. I'm thankful for this image and our big God who created it.
At 9:00 a.m. tomorrow I go to see the oncologist and get the results of the PET Scan and CAT Scan. This is the start of my journey and all those that walk through this journey with me. My purpose of sharing this story is not only to keep those who know me updated and to document the blessings seen during this time, but also to help others that may be dealing with something hard.
Proverbs 3:24 "You can go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly."