Saturday, February 16, 2013

My Journey This Year

It has been too long since I have blogged! To be honest, I have really been enjoying instagram, flickr and facebook for short updates rather than lengthy blog posts. I have gone back and forth about writing this post as it is personal, not 'fun' & not sewing related! In the end I decided that some things I've learned are worth sharing and possibly helping someone else in the same position. I have breast cancer. I had a mammogram in September, as usual, everything was clear. Come December, I found what I thought was a large lump. I was scared, but reasoned, "Surely this is nothing because it's so big and my mammogram was clear 3 months ago. It would have picked this up at the time." So I waited a few weeks and finally decided to get it checked out. Another mammo showed NOTHING, but an ultrasound showed the growth and it appeared to be 1 cm (seemed too small to me), so they recommended a biopsy. The biopsy revealed cancer & I can't tell you how completely shocked I was!! I am 45 moving along in life and not thinking it could ever happen to me. Of course, in my mind I was already in stage 4, ready to die, but thankfully that wasn't my eventual diagnosis. After a lumpectomy I found out the tumor was actually 3 cm. My surgeon, Dr. Leslie Memsic, said she got good margins and it ended up being in 1 lymph node which meant chemo. She is an awesome, awesome surgeon and person and told me not to worry because I was going to 'live happlily ever after'. After this journey. Ugh!! I had my first chemo this week along with a shot of Neulasta to boost my white blood cells & so I'm not feeling all that great today, but I am grateful for many things already. First of all, I am so grateful that I am saved by Jesus. He is the only one who can help me through this. There are times already that I have been afraid or unsure and there is no human on this planet that can give me comfort or reassurance at that time except for Him. I have no clue how anyone fights cancer without God, without Jesus & the Holy Spirit.  Secondly, I am grateful for the amazing love and support of my family, friends and online friends~ that's you! I've shared here and there and am so touched by so many people. There are blessings every day in my family and friendships that have helped sustain me. Next, I am grateful for my prognosis. It's really good. Like, once I have chemo (6 rounds, administered every 3 weeks) & radiation combined with anti-hormone pills, my reoccurance is less than 10%. Dr. Memsic said my risk of reoccurance is less than her risk & she hasn't had breast cancer!  So, those things will keep me going and I know I just need to keep my eye on the prize of finishing this treatment. Probably the end of summer. The last thing I want to list in my grateful lineup (but it is not the end of this list, just my top 4!) is the gift God has given me to create. The desire to create, the joy of making something beautiful. When I am in my sewing room,  I don't think about anything but what I'm working on. Absence of fear, worry and pain replaced by joy does wonders for my spirit! So I am still sewing, working on orders & just pacing myself with what I'm asked to do. Chances are I won't be blogging much but I will still be posting on instagram, flickr & facebook as I complete projects. I recently finished a quilt for Jennifer Paganelli that I absolutely LOVE using her upcoming Circa fabrics that will be out in May. So, I just want all of you to know that even if you have a clear mammgram & you feel a lump, get it checked out!! 

17 comments:

Melissa P said...

Sending you lots of love and praying for healing.

Amy DeCesare said...

Thinking of you and praying for your continued recovery and positive outlook! Can't wait to see what you have made and what else you will make in your bright future! Hugs, and thank you for sharing the good advice to all.

Deb said...

Thank you for sharing your journey -the ups and the down, the pain and the joy. May Gods arms be wrapped around you, holding you close and giving you comfort and strength. Know you are in my prayers!

Nina... said...

Hi Monique. I will be thinking of you through your journey onto complete recovery! It's amazing how treatable cancer has become. I know several women who have gone through the same thing only to recover and be given a clean bill of health afterwards. Stay strong and keep sewing!

Sew Pretty Dresses said...

Bless you girl! We are going to pray you through this!

Suzanne@Meridian Road said...

You are so right~you cannot do this alone. God is absolutely essential in the face of adversity. I'm glad you have such a wonderful prognosis! Hang in there, and sew on. :)

The Cozy Pumpkin said...

So proud of you for putting this out there, girl. You're amazing, strong, and so talented. :) Big hugs and prayers always.

-Amanda-

Emily said...

Monique! I was so shocked to see your IG post and had to come to your blog to find out more. I had 4 friends last year who had breast cancer - with similar stories. They are all doing very very well now. You will be in my prayers. I've felt a connection with you - similar taste in fabric, and faith! I think of you as a "friend!" :D What an amazing example you are for your kids, and the rest of us.

Emily said...

Monique! I was so shocked to see your IG post and had to come to your blog to find out more. I had 4 friends last year who had breast cancer - with similar stories. They are all doing very very well now. You will be in my prayers. I've felt a connection with you - similar taste in fabric, and faith! I think of you as a "friend!" :D What an amazing example you are for your kids, and the rest of us.

Anna Maria Horner said...

May you have nothing but continued good results and blessings through your journey! Hang in there!

with love,

xo, Anna Maria

krista said...

I missed this! I'm so impressed with your courage and strength. You got this, girl! I wish you all the best and keep you in my prayers. <3

Kris from Duke Says Sew What said...

I missed this post, too, or would have commented sooner. I appreciate the advice. So glad you are sewing through this! How kind to share your talents with your "neighbors". Thinking of you and praying for a peaceful journey through your treatment. Your Doctor sounds wonderful, what a gift. <3.

Karie said...

Hi
Just say your IG post and followed to your blog...I found a large lump on Feb 20....my biopsy is on Tuesday...the ultrasound showed 2 lumps, one is 2.5 x 2.2 x 2.1 cm the other is still small 9x5 mm. My mom was diagnosed 9 years ago and my dr is expecting it to be positive....I should have results on Thursday or Friday....good luck, you will be in my prayers and I may have more questions for you .....karie

NancyP said...

I read your post via IG which led me to your blog. I went thru what you are going thru in 2009 when I was 59. Grade 1 estrogen receptive, 0 nodes. Had lumpectomy, mammosite radiation,and 4 doses of chemo and taking estrogen blocker med for 5 years (1 yr to go!). You will get thru it, your hair and strength will disappear but will come back. And you are so right..The Lord is your strength. You will learn alot about yourself..what you can endure, let others serve and show love to you. May the God of all comfort be with you.

Jenny said...

Monique, I haven't followed your blog but of course I've seen all your quilts in Flickr. I'm so pleased you have a great prognosis, and I wish you all the best!

trish said...

Dearest Monique. I am catching up on blog reading and just now reading your post. I am so sorry for your experience. I am praying for you on your journey. I am so glad that Jesus is your pillar of strength. He will meet with you in those scary moments and shine through. :0)
Love in Christ. Trish

Two Peas in a Pod Homegrown Designs said...

What an inspirational, positive attitude and I love - your love for Jesus which is such a strong reminder to me what comes first. Thank you for sharing your faith - I will keep you in prayers as you continue this recovery. You are so beautiful inside and out - many hugs xoxo

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