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Finding Purpose in Metastatic Breast Cancer

All my life I wondered what my purpose was… what did God design for my life. As most, I meandered many a path without clear direction. I stumbled and fell too many times to count. Four years ago I felt my family was embarking on the best years life had to offer. Two gorgeous girls, a solid marriage, a village, life was good. Or so I thought. Our breast cancer diagnosis came in and left us dumbfounded. But we put our heads down and fought hard. I renewed my faith, I became a born again Christian. We chose to live differently.

But as the years went by, I started to lax. Cancer started to stop coming up in every conversation, in every thought I had, it became something that was part of my story, but not my whole story.

Then one day I took a deep breath and I felt pain. I brushed it off, trying not be a hypochondriac because cancer will do that to you. So I thought, surely I am fine.

A few weeks later, I had a hard time breathing even regular breaths. I really knew something was wrong when I tried to run after my 5 year old on her bike, which is something a 36 year old mom should be able to do, but I couldn’t.

After convincing every medical office that I did not have Covid, and after medical offices refusing to see me because my symptoms seemed too close to Covid, we went to the ER.

Quickly, after our CT scan we found out something was very wrong with my lung. It was almost completely collapsed, there was very little space for my right lung to breathe.

When my oncologist was able to see me, I was immediately admitted into the hospital because of the collapsed lung. They did every test imaginable at the hospital. Once again my head was spinning in how this was my life. How was this my reality.

Finally, I had my lung drained. They made me fast, so with nothing in my system the lidocaine and amount of fluid removed from my lung sent me into a vasovagal experience where my ears were fuzzy, my eyes had dots, I started sweating and could hardly talk. Thankfully the nurse was able to grab me some cranberry juice, which helped my blood sugar level out.

Then my oncologist wanted to have a lung catheter put in, that way I could drain my own lung with my husband (super sexy date night in) from home. Each bottle was $100, they sent us home with 4.

After giving me a twilight like anesthesia, for whatever reason the medicine mixed with my emotions created an outlet for me to unleash my raw emotions. I spent the entire procedure crying to the nurse about how this was happening to me, about my baby girls at home. Bless her for wiping my tears and holding my hand. I am confident there are angels among us.

After the procedure, I was in excruciating, debilitating pain. Lifting up, sitting down, standing up all sent fireworks of pain throughout my body. I was in this state for 4 days, until the pain finally started to lessen.

We were able to spend a weekend away in Arkansas with friends… we were flooded with praise & worship, nature, gorgeous weather, ATVs, fishing, a shooting range, campfires and our girls were on cloud 9.

Somewhere along the way, my catheter site decided to get infected. I go in for a procedure tomorrow where they will remove the catheter. I cannot start medicine until the infection is handled.

My doctor wants me to take estrogen blockers + chemo pills indefinitely. The holistic side of me panics and wants to resist. But something I am learning in this life is, I cannot rely on my own understanding. I cannot make holistic measures an idol. I have to give this battle to God. He is the one who gives me strength. He can do anything. He is a wonder-working God, too good to not believe. So I will trust. I will do all I can holistically alongside my oncologist's recommendations. This fight is not about me. It is not about my strength, it is His. This fight is about my daughters, my husband, my village. And giving God all the glory along the way. To be content in every circumstance. Because I know that I am loved, I know that I am chosen.

We were told I am now metastatic, my cancer is in stage 4. (I'll write more on that.) My oncologist got to my eye level and said, now is the time to do the things you've wanted to do. Go travel, go experience, go make memories with loved ones. It is not about becoming cancer free now, it is about prolonging my life as long as possible. But I do believe God can erase this cancer at anytime.

It was nailed into me that now I know my purpose. My purpose is to share God’s word through my cancer journey. To lead people to Him, to show grace amongst the storm. To radiate peace through the pain. To rise above the broken world and embrace true freedom and true joy only God can give. I hope you join me on this narrow path, it is the best yes.

He is enough.

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