Cancer Update

HI Everyone! I thought I would take a moment and catch everyone up on what’s happening with me and cancer and life. As most of you know I was diagnosed with breast cancer November 17th 2011. If you would like to read more about the early stages of that journey you can go HERE.

I completed 4 rounds of chemo and my next step is surgery on July 10th.

Getting through the chemo was hard for the few days after each of them, but then I would feel better. I needed to stay away from high amounts of people as to keep away from germs since my immune system was low and it was so easy for me to catch a cold. I did a few times and the docs immediately put me on antibiotics. My oncologist was spectacular. Dr. Rachel Harper. She was such a blessing and encouragement through the whole thing.

I had just the normal side effects of chemo. Losing my hair, tiredness, low immune system, etc. The strangest side effect was probably after chemo was done was that my nails started to separate from my nail bed, so my fingernails are half on and half off. I continue to wear press on nails to protect what’s left of my little nails until they grow out 🙂 But let me tell you it freaked me out at first. 🙂

My hair is now starting to grow back at a really fast rate. My sister trimmed and colored it the other day. It’s maybe a quarter of an inch and red. I go back and forth now with wigs, hats and my natural new hair.

My next step is the double mastectomy and reconstruction. I go in on July 10th for surgery and in that same surgery they are doing the reconstruction. My amazing Dr – Dr. AJ – said I would be down for about 3 days and that will be it! He and my plastic surgeon – Dr. Therese – Anne L. LeVan – (she is such a sweetheart!) will be together doing the procedure. He will begin by taking everything out (tissue, implants) and then she will come in to do the reconstruction with new much much smaller implants. I will probably lose 5 pounds in surgery 🙂

Then – I am done. This has been such a journey. Thank you to my family, friends, everyone who prayed, who cared for me medically, who cared for me spiritually and emotionally and a huge thank you to my amazing husband.

Above all, thank you to Jesus. As He told me at the beginning of this – “Sandra – the battle was won on April 27th, 2003 –  the day you gave your life to Me. Be strong and courageous.” It was actually a beautiful purifying process to allow me to listen to Him and step into the next chapter of our lives – launching the church in South Beach Miami. You really hear Jesus differently when you are faced with a possible life-taking illness. All of the minor things of life fall away, things that seemed at the time so very important, and you trust Jesus in different ways. You step into His plans with solidity and courage and encourage others to do the same.

Life really is too short and there are too many people in the world who don’t know they are loved by Jesus to get stuck on pride, fear, insecurity, and how you think your life or the lives of people around you should look. Jesus may have totally different plans than you thought. Step into them. Wholeheartedly. With Abandon. With Freedom. With JOY. With Courage – and encourage those around you to celebrate God and His amazing plans for the countless people He calls you to interact with.

Celebrate Life. Celebrate Love. Live fully in the love of Jesus. And then watch His dreams unfold.

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