I have been remiss in keeping everyone updated on my treatment these last few months. But I have a good excuse. I've had so much energy and felt so well that I'm too busy being a mom and a wife to sit down and write every couple of days. But since the kids are napping and I really don't want to do another load of dishes today I'll steal some time to get everyone updated. I finished my 33 radiation treatments in mid-January and have spent the last 6 weeks or so in a peace I'd almost forgotten exsisted. I got to go 6 whole weeks without going in to a single Dr.'s appointment!!! This week of course I've had two and I'm starting to get things lined up for the year. On Wednesday the Radiation Oncologist found a cyst on my left breast that she assured me wasn't cancer. I of course have heard that assurance before. This morning I met with the Breast Surgeon and she did an ultrasound of the cyst and believes that it is benign, but is sending me in for a mamogram to make sure. I'm thankful that she's being precautious but I'm resting in the Lord fully. He hasn't brought me this far to abandon me now. While I was talking with my Doctor it struck me that except for the very first day I was diagnosed no one had ever talked 'stage' with me (what stage of cancer I was in). The first doctor (said I was stage 2a) was less than thorough and I knew that at the time, that's why I switched, but I'd never bothered to ask where all the tests that my new doctors ordered put my cancer stage. And maybe it's a good thing because stage 2 felt beatable to me at the time. And although facing cancer was scary in itself, if I'd know I had stage 3 cancer it would have been a lot harder for me. I always knew it was bad, but stage 3 just would have been harder for me to cope with. And now, I'm in awe! Oh how very good our God is. He's protected me and sheltered me when I've needed it, He's sustained me and strengthened me on the days I thought I couldn't go on, He's cried with me, laughed with me, provided for me, and loved me every day of this ordeal and beyond. He's showed me the beauty He sees in me...a beauty that goes beyond the hair that fell out and the breast that was removed. And He's shown me that there is nothing to fear in death...and what a great gift of joy every day on earth is.
It's hard to believe my little boy turned 5 last weekend. For some reason I wasn't quite ready for this milestone. Maybe because he's always been my sweet little Ethan, my cuddler who is now almost too big for me to pick up. And his interests are starting to become bigger than me and what's going on around the house. But despite my bittersweet sadness, his birthday celebration is sure to go down in the history books!!! On Friday afternoon Grammy picked him up early from school and took him on a birthday adventure. The went to the mall, had lunch at the food court, played in the play area, and best of all...they got to go to Build-a-Bear.
When Grammy first tried to tell Ethan that they should go into the Build-a-Bear store to look around, he insisted that it was too expensive. Grammy had to talk him into even walking in the store, let alone convince him to pick out a bear. Everything was 'too spensive'. Then he saw a skateboard and he quickly abandoned his frugal ways and embraced the adventure of creating his own skateboarding stuffed animal...a soft bunny name Scooter.
After his Build-a-Bear (or Bunny) adventure he headed home to help Mommy and Daddy build a giant maze out of cardboard boxes for his birthday party on Saturday. I think the chemo must still have been affecting my reasoning abilities because I came up with this idea and nothing could stop me from accomplishing it. We moved most of the living room furniture into our bedroom and spent 5-6 hours on Friday night taping boxes that Dorian had collected from work into tunnels. The tunnels turned, twisted, intersected, deadended, and lead to 3 different rooms that the kids turned into forts. Ethan called the tunnels/forts his Transformers Cave.
On Saturday he had a hard time waithing until 1:00pm for his guest to arrive. He couldn't wait to show everyone his box maze and get to play! By the time the party was in full swing there were 12 little boys scurrying through the box passage ways. What a fun time they all had. And if the maze wasn't enough Dor set up a bouncer in the back yard as well! Maybe that was just overkill.