“Hope for Two has been there for me since the beginning. I was paired with a support woman who was there to answer my questions and who was there just to check in to see how I was. It felt good knowing that there was someone I could talk to, someone who would understand.”
Faith, Hope, Fearless
On January 26, 2015 my life changed. Changed completely. I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. I was devastated. I thought the worst. I was also late on my period.
After taking a home pregnancy test that same day my fears were realized. I was pregnant. I was flooded with emotions. I was confused. I didn’t know whether to be happy or sad so I cried. The tears were tears of pain, uncertainty, fear yet a few drops were for the new life I carried, love.
Would I make it to the end? How would I be treated? Could I be pregnant and have breast cancer. I cried. I cried for weeks on end. I felt alone, beaten, devastated.
Although I had family and friends to support me they wouldn’t understand what I was going through. No one did. In order to feel what I was experiencing you had to have walked in my shoes.
Kind words and support poured in but I was still scared. Would I live? Would the baby survive? How do I tell Chase? He’s always wanted a sibling, would his dream come true?
Visits to the doctor were overwhelming. I tried to put on a brave face but deep down I was screaming, my head was pounding. Doctors asked if I would consider terminating the pregnancy so that I could start treatment right away. I told them “no, that wasn’t an option”.
Surgery was done in March at twelve weeks pregnant. I almost didn’t have surgery because I feared it would harm the baby. A sonogram the day of surgery revealed the tumor had grown. I had no choice.
Chemotherapy started at twenty-two weeks. Four rounds. In preparation for my hair loss I started cutting my hair. I lost it all after round two.
The pregnancy was progressing well. The baby was growing. I was anxious at each perinatal visit. I was glad to see the sonograms and see my baby growing.
At thirty weeks I started feeling sick. I couldn’t eat. Would this cause the baby to stop thriving? Was this the end I kept thinking. I tried eating, nothing stayed. I started losing all the weight I gained.
My parents died young. They were both in their thirties. Was this the end for me?
Chaz was born at thirty-four weeks through induction. The cord was wrapped around his neck causing his heart rate to fluctuate. He was here, a healthy 5 lb. baby boy. Even during labor I thought I was going to die. I would die giving birth, but I asked God to keep me until my kids no longer needed me.
Active treatment is finally over. It has been a whirlwind for the past fifteen months. Fifteen months of agony, fifteen months of pain, but in the midst of it all joy, happiness, love, life. Recent tests showed the tumor was gone but the next five years are crucial. I believe in miracles. I believe God heals. Each time I had dark thoughts I forced myself to remember God’s mercy. His love.
I no longer question “why me” but rather “why not me”? I am a soldier in the army of the Lord. My testimony of God’s grace and healing power will help someone else. I am strong because I have lived through pain. I am a survivor, I will live. My strength came from knowing I was not alone. No one truly knew or understood what I was going through, how I felt. I hid behind my smile.
When I look at how far I’ve come and what I’ve been through I praise God for keeping me, healing me and giving me the will to fight, the will to survive, the will to win.
Being thirty-five at diagnosis I urge those under the age of forty to do your self exams. It saved my life.
I no longer hide my scars. I wear them as a badge of honor and they serve as proof that God heals.
On January 26, 2015, my life changed. Changed completely.
Behind my smile is a story you wouldn’t understand.
It came, we fought, we won.
My miracle baby, my healing: Chaz