Thursday, May 5, 2011

just the facts - again.

i was asked to do a "just the facts, mam" post back when we were in the middle of our adoption of bella....and i am feeling very much like that might be helpful now in this new and very different journey.   i Fully Realize some of you scan my wordy, wordy, wordy writing for key facts and updated information.  you are not always enamored with my rambling thoughts on laundry or ultrasound machines or paperwork.  you only check in To Know...To Find Out.  and i do want you to know.  i truly don't mean to be circuitous in any way.   but please also realize this blog is a place for me to unwind the long train of thoughts ... emotions... feelings...and, yes, clutter, from my crowded brain.  i tend to sit here with a glass of wine or a cup of coffee (depending on time of day and level of desperation)....and i unravel.  unravelling is a lovely business.  i know we all unwind in a different way...but unwind we must.  thank you for bearing with me.

many of you would just like to know what in the world is going on.  if you are on facebook, we've created a group called, "this too..." please join that group.  it will be a place where i'll be able to post, or friends will be able to post, in a more detailed and timely fashion.  plain, clear information and updates.  i'd love you to be included.  it is a "closed" group on facebook, but  we can add you to the list if you'd like.  this is not an exclusive thing. not at all.   for some reason God created me to share my story...stories. we all have them, by the way.   i guess i have come to a place of knowing how many are out there in need of story-hearing, in need of encouragement.  if i can encourage, i will.   in the meantime,  i will call it therapy...or perhaps venting or maybe just plain and simple, escape.  all much needed. at least for this scattered,  often unravelling woman.

so...the facts...

1.  i am scheduled to have a bilateral mastectomy sometime in the 3rd week of may.  we were hoping for the 16th, but now it looks more like the 21st ... both doctors (breast surgeon and plastic surgeon) are willing to do whatever it takes to get me in soon...but the operating room time is what is slowing us down.  pray for that.    my team of doctors is the best in the city....they are booked solid...but willing to work after hours for me.  it is all about OR time at this point.  i am on the cancellation list.  (does anyone cancel breast cancer surgery?...i am thinking, no).
2.  some of you thought i was in line for a lumpectomy.  though that was originally is not the best option.  i am not being in any way radical here...both doctors support my decision 100%....we have enough factors clearly weighing in this direction.  i won't go into all that terrible ugliness...but i assure you it is best.  by the way,  i hate it.  i hate that this is the direction we must go... but i am completely at peace with it.  you wonder, "seriously, jody?  seriously at peace?" .... my unmedicated answer (drinking only coffee here) is "yes. i am at peace." we can figure that out later.  another day's discussion.
3.  my receptor tests have come back positive.  meaning i am estrogen positive and CAN be treated with medicine following surgery.  this is way better than the alternative.
4.  the receptor tests also show my cancer growth to be somewhat slow.  that's cool too.
5.  my MRI results have showed nothing new or major in their preliminary reading. still waiting for the detailed report.  
6.  chemotherapy will be decided after surgery.  we need to know if the cancer is in my lymph nodes.  that will be tested at the time of surgery.
7.  praying chemo won't enter into my picture... i am reminding God DAILY about my lifestyle and five children...and that large pile of laundry.    He knows...He knows...He knows.... we would love for you all to pray specifically about that.  if i could benefit from it, then let the test ring loud and clear and positive....but i'd like, very much, for that not to be necessary.
8. my cancer was detected with a diagnostic mammogram, ultra sound and biopsy.  the cancer is 1.4 cm and at this point has been classified as a mammary carcinoma infiltrating with lobular features.   there are other areas in both breasts which have also raised suspicion.  so that's all the boring, yucky stuff....

i want you to know the mcnatt family is being well cared for.  i mean, i truly haven't cooked a meal since my biopsy date 3 weeks ago.  these meals love us so well.  seven people need to eat and, for the moment, we are dining as kings and queens.  the meals have given us time to sit around the table and laugh and talk and tease and be normal.  as a mother, i love that.  i love seeing my children stuffing green beans into their laughing mouths.   seriously, it makes me want to cry this very minute. (again, still drinking only coffee).   i hope all of you have had a chance to feel the arms and feet and hands of Christ around you.   my children Know Without a Doubt they have an army ready.  willing.  able.  eager.   i am not sure i have the words to express that kind of blessing.
this week we have asked the children to take on The Writing of All Thank You Notes.  each evening a different child has been responsible for writing a note, on behalf of our family,  to the meal provider.  i want my kids to know and see and taste and feel GRATITUDE.   nothing is taken for granted.  nothing Can Be taken for granted.  that is what these journeys are about.  each meal dropped off, each evening....each hand stirring ...slicing ...sprinkling ...packaging...delivering...loving.  i want us to hold our dinner plates with the humble hands of thanksgiving.  i want my family to bow their heads low and know that Jesus and His Followers are bringing us our daily bread.  our manna.  i want my children to know that even with a cancerous mommy,  God Has, and Does and Will Always provide.    that is my prayer...Lord, don't allow anything to be taken for granted as we walk, hand in hand, down this road.   Let us see you, Jesus, in the helping and the hurting and the healing.   Let us see You.  

well, i tried.  i tried very hard to stick to only the facts.  sigh. i  apologize (again) for getting off track.   i'll remind you,  i am getting away with a lot lately.  =)  one of our family's new favorite jokes is saying, "you'd better listen to mommy, she has breast cancer."  i know that is appalling to some of you and i'm sorry.  but we absolutely need to laugh right now. it is the best medicine for all of us.  and this complete morbidity is working.  one of the boys was arguing with me just today and i was this close to whipping out the, "do what i say this very minute, i have breast cancer."   i refrained.  (and, again,  i was drinking only coffee). 


carolyn bradford said...

I love you and I don't even know you! I pray for you daily....I feel your every emotion...not only since the cancer diagnosis...but in everything! I guess some of us just need to rewind in similar talking ( or writing) about it! I know I do! and your blog has blessed me beyond measure! I am forever grateful that Valerie put me on it! I am forever blessed to be allowed to read your precious thoughts and prayers!

Simply LKJ said...

Jody, you all continue to remain in our prayers. I would expect nothing less of the McNatt clan than to "laugh" your way through this difficult time. I, as well as Coach Katie and her dad, would expect nothing less from your fighting clan! We love you!!!

Hive for the Home said...

I came across your blog, as another blogging mom, waiting to adopt a special needs child from China. I do not know you, but I know that God was in this meeting. My mother is a 15 year breast cancer survivor. I have a little perspective on being the child, (although I was 21 at the time, I'm afraid I will never outgrow the need for my mother) I am praying for you and your family, I am asking our father that there will be no need for chemo. Keep giving the details, because life without details becomes somewhat impersonal, and the details are what God often uses to show others, His presence in our lives.

myfourgems said...

you teach me and inspire me and encourage me and push me to see Jesus more clearly, to be thankful, to laugh, to be an example, to see light shining through darkness. what a privilege to grow with you all these years. i love you.

Tiffany said...

Thorough update are so honest about all of this...very brave to share so much. Will just keep praying.

Karen Tejeda said...

Thank you Jody! Your candor is so refreshing! Will continue to lift you all up. So grateful you are being well cared for!!

Janet said...

I admire you and always have. You are a beautiful woman, mother, wife and friend.
We often wonder why we are faced with challenges that God has given us. I believe it is in his wanting us to realize the strength that is within us. You are strong and courageous,that is what we see.
Let the love of your husband, children, family and friends surround you. Your strong christian faith be ever present to guide, support and comfort you.
Laugh and be silly every day. I did.
I will keep you and your family in my prayers.
You go woman!
Jan (Lauren, Chris and Matt's Mom, 6 yr. survivor)