Wednesday, February 16

I woke up today feeling very calm and comforted.  I felt confident that I must not have cancer and that my tests would be negative because I felt so very calm.  I had my phone with me every place I went since they would be calling w/ the results.  I had a RS meeting and lunch w/ the new and old presidencies.  We meet at Michelangelo’s and once again I had salmon! I felt confident that I could receive the news at lunch if I needed to but my phone did not ring.

After lunch, I ran a few errands and when I was at Office Max my sister Jen called and asked if they had called me yet about the results.  I said no and she said that she had the results and they weren’t good.  I remained pretty calm.  I think I will always think of Office Max and getting my results.  I really felt bad for Jen since she had to tell me that the tissue samples were cancerous.  I remember pondering why I had been receiving such calm promptings and realized that maybe I needed them so I could deal w/ news or maybe things will work out in future even if they seem so dismal now.

In some ways, I was relieved to find the news so that I could now work on moving forward.  I was grateful to Pete for making sure that I got into the surgeon, Erika Lloyd, immediately.  They were very helpful at the Care Center when they called (also during Jen’s call) to set up appointment for me.

I began thinking how I would tell everyone.  I called Joe, Mary, Nate and Mike to tell them.  Thought about letting Alex and then Taylor (on mission) know.  Taylor would be the hardest because he is so far from home and a worrier.  Also, I am really close to Taylor and he would take it hard!

Later that day, I e-mailed all my family and friends and that also felt good to get done.  I heard from many right away.  Many prayers and kind thoughts offered in our behalf!  So grateful for all those around us who support us and make life easier!

Here’s my e-mail:

Dear Friends,

So I did get the results back and the tissue that they took from my lymph nodes and breast are cancerous.  Before you gasp, I am so encouraged because it was found so early.  I really feel so grateful to have the lump in my breast be so small that it wasn’t even detected by mammogram.  I will have a consult w/ the surgeon tomorrow and I’m hoping she will be able to operate on Friday.  The radiologist thought that it would involve removing the lumps and then radiation in the future.  So I’m very encouraged and have been filled w/ the most comforting feeling all day.  I know you have all worried about me and said prayers and I so appreciate that!  I feel so lucky to have such dear friends and to have been born today w/ the medical technology available!  I will keep you up-dated and feel strongly that all of you should be up to date on your mammograms!

Love,  Joanie

Still feeling strangly calm, I went to PT Conferences and talked to Matt Clark, Danny Stirland and principal Doug Bingham.  All were visibly sad for me and supportive.  I know whatever I decide to do w/ Skyline, they will be supportive and helpful.  Cancer is such a scary diagnosis.  I talked to Pete while I had a slow moment at school and he explained further about cancer stages-  size of lump would be a Stage 1 except that it has traveled to lymph nodes making it a Stage 2.  They will know more as they run more tests.  I left conferences a bit early as I was emotionally exhausted.

Melissa Faber came over when I got home and her visit lifted my spirits.  She brought a book called Anti Cancer, and a pillow to use after surgery.  It is cuddly and I can’t wait to put it to use.  She talked about her sister’s experience w/ cancer and helped broaden my awareness of the experience.  Melissa was so helpful and kind.  I was so touched by how she knew I needed her to come that night.

While I would never wish anyone to have to go through having cancer,  I can tell already that having this life questioning experience teaches you compassion that you probably can’t learn anywhere else.  Pete said that I would probably have to have chemo which I was so hoping I wouldn’t.  I know it is going to be so hard to lose my hair and not to feel good to do the physical things I want to do.

I received warm messages from so many friends:  Heidi & Roger Jones, Christine Holding, Sue Oldroyd,  Kelleen Leslie, Candi Merrell,  Erin, Serida Foss, Susie Beaudoin, Julie Wissler, Sue Buehner, Lori Hogue, Patti Clements, Gloria Johnson. (I’m sure I’m forgetting someone!)  These messages help so much.  I can feel the support and prayers.


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