Dear family and friends:
I realize that a mass blog post (though some of you have already seen this information in an email or on Facebook) isn’t the most personal way to inform everyone of some important information, but we decided since we have loved ones all over this world, this would be the best way to get the news out all at once so that everyone has the same information. I’m sorry for not calling some of you, please don’t take it personally, just know that sharing with the ones I have has been incredibly difficult.
What we need you to know:
The short version – on July 9, I found a lump in my left breast. I have since had several exams, a mammogram, ultrasound, and biopsy performed.
On August 12, I received the biopsy results and was diagnosed with invasive mammary carcinoma (breast cancer).
At this point, we do not have a lot of other information. We don’t know how or why this happened to me at such a young age, or what stage or level of invasiveness we are dealing with. We do know that some sort of surgery will be required, but because we are awaiting some test results and an MRI (hopefully in the next couple of days), we haven’t developed a plan yet.
Many of you are aware of the other health issues (ulcerative colitis*, clotting disorder) I face, as well. These issues will impact my treatment, but we are uncertain yet, as to what impact they will have.
I’ve already seen several doctors, but I am scheduled to have a consultation with a hematologist/oncologist on August 25 where we’ll likely find out a preliminary assessment of what kind of treatment I’m looking at.
* During the last few weeks I have also been very sick from an ulcerative colitis flare that was caused by the stress of this diagnostic process.
BUT, I’m going to be OK! This diagnosis isn’t the death sentence it used to be. Modern treatment has afforded patients a 90%+ long term survival rate and I fully intend to be in that percentage!
What I/we need from you:
I need “normal” from you. I’ve cried plenty of tears and felt sorry for myself enough for all of us! I’m sure I’ll have more of that for myself.
I don’t want you to act like nothing is going on – I’ll probably talk more about it as I have information and can broach the subject without completely losing it. I want as much of my normal life as I can have in the midst of all this crazy.
Check on me! But, don’t let me have too many pity parties. Don’t commiserate with me or let me lead myself down “those” rabbit trails. I need you to help me keep my own mind under control.
There might come a time when we need meals, babysitting, or some other tangible support. Offer! I might not know what I need and your suggestion might just be what gets us through that moment.
We would love your prayers and support. Our children know what is going on and will need to feel like their lives aren’t falling apart because mom is sick. Pray for my strength to endure whatever it is God has in this for me. Pray for each person who will be involved in my care (doctors, nurses, medical staff, etc.) that God would impart wisdom and compassion to them.
Also? Please remember Michael in your prayers. He will be bearing quite a weight in this. He is devoted to seeing me through this and I know he’ll be a rock star at it!
I’m not really in a place at the moment to be able to answer many questions, because I don’t even have half of the answers I’d like to have. I really want to be open about this and I want it to be “public” information (because, honestly it will help our stress levels to know that everyone has the same information). That being said, unless information comes directly from me, Michael, or my parents, please refrain from speculation, forwarding, or reposting.
Your support, encouragement, and prayers will be very valuable during this time.
Laura, Michael, Jacob, Eli, and Rachael