Recently, I posted pictures of our family vacation cruise. What an amazing time we had! I tried several daring activities while I was on vacation – just celebrating life. Here’s why it was so important on this trip…
In May, I received a letter from my doctor informing me that I had an abnormal mammogram. No big deal – I’ve had one of those before. But when I went for the follow-up test, I was informed that there were abnormal cells on my right breast. A biopsy was scheduled for May 31.
Meanwhile, I began having pains in my lower abdomen. After a couple of days, I made an appointment to see my doctor who ordered an ultrasound and MRI. These tests revealed abnormal-looking growths on my ovaries, and the doctor ordered a CA 125 blood test. CA 125 is a protein found in concentration in cancer cells, but primarily in ovarian cancer cells. Normal values range from 0 to 35 units. Test results showed my level at 107. (According to one report, CA 125 level greater than 65 is associated with malignancy in approximately 90% of cases.) I was immediately referred to Duke Oncology. The breast biopsy I mentioned earlier was cancelled and surgery to remove my ovaries was scheduled instead.
The surgery was laparoscopic as planned, however, because the cysts had attached to other areas, the doctor had to make four incisions to remove the ovaries as well as remove part of my appendix. Needless to say, the following weeks were a bit of a challenge as I recovered, waited for results from the surgery, and anticipated the upcoming breast biopsy. Well, I heard that God’s Word is like medication, so during that time, I tried to overdose. Worship and the Word became my best friend. The prayers and support of my family and friends, a lifeline.
A week later, I received the call from my doctor. Test results showed no ovarian cancer! He won again! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44iuQznblBI
One down and one more to go…
Two weeks later, I was scheduled to receive the breast biopsy. Waiting is the worst! However, during my devotional time, God consistently encouraged me through the Word and songs. Here’s one of my favorites (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2qUoZKxC9). I wanted a friend to be with me during the procedure, so I told God, “You don’t have to come, but You always do. If You show up in splendor, it’ll change the whole room.” He showed up. The doctor’s assistant asked if she could play some music that she uses to relax before bed, and I agreed. It literally changed the atmosphere in the room – a peace I can hardly describe. And as I lay on the table, she rubbed my back and comforted me throughout the procedure. Leaving the office, she said, “Everything is going to turn out well. There will not be a manifestation of anything so don’t even think about it.” I think I met an angel.
Several days later, I received the good news – all cells normal! And finally, a call from Duke Cancer Center kicking me out. “And don’t come back either!” Oh well, I’ve been thrown out of better joints than that! : )
So on vacation…it was all about celebrating! I’m so grateful that’s how my family does life – how we’ve always done it.
You should do the same! Take a vacation, go for a walk, play games, eat, laugh often. Choose family, choose life, choose love.
In the good times and bad – celebrate!