Rob & Alice

Alice is in her room

She finally made it out of surgery. She is cranky and demanding and drifting in and out of sleep. She is in a lot of discomfort and on lots of meds.

Her surgeon came to check on her and reiterated the good news concerning her lymph nodes and the margins around her tumor were good. This means that the tumor was isolated and that there is a good possibility she is now cancer free!

Preliminary News Great

Dr. Haick just came by and had some awesome initial news. Alice had two lymph nodes removed and they are cancer free. There is a very good chance that her cancer has been cured.

The reconstruction is under way and she has a couple more hours to go.

I was praying for this.

Alice is in surgery – all going well

I spent the morning with Alice in the pre-op area. She is in good spirits and had the fellow nurses laughing along with her. I got a call from the surgical nurse that she’s out and they’re gearing up to begin the lymph node biopsy and dbl mastectomy.

We’re holding down the fort amongst the other families in the surgical waiting room. I teared up when saying goodbye. I’m praying for all the doctors and nurses for them to do their best with my Al.

Surgery Today

Alice and I are at the hospital. She’s been taken down for them to perform a lymph node biopsy. She is in good spirits. The double mastectomy and, hopefully, the preliminary breast reconstruction will begin around 9:30 this am. Hoping and praying for the best.

For I know the plans I have for you……

I received a message from a high school friend on Friday that contained a Reader’s Digest article on the Ten Commandments of Breast Cancer.  One of the ten was that you have cancer, because.  That meant so much to me.  I have thought a million times in the last two weeks: Why?  For what? When? How?  And the simple truth is that I have cancer, because.

Every time someone asks do you eat sugar, do you use artificial sweeteners,  do you smoke, do you drink, a little piece of shame pops up and blocks me momentarily from God.  I feel like a failure.  I feel like I did this to myself.  I feel anger rise up from toes and flush my face and I start thinking back about what I have done wrong that may have caused this.  If cancer was that simple, there would be no cancer because science would no how to prevent it and cure it for good.  Science can’t do that, yet

I was driving home this evening and a Bible verse that I have helped my son learn for his Bible lessons at school kept popping in my head.  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

God has plans for me and hope and a future.  I have cancer, because.  The because is up to me.  I can take the because and make it about the past, or I can take the because and make it about my future.  I decided to do the latter. I have faith that this is part of the plans that God has for me.  This is part of my prospering, my growing.  This is part of my hope that I will share with others in the future.  Thanks for being part of the journey.



Water Pipes, Vaginas & Boobs

The following is my account of the past few weeks in which we’ve learned that Alice has breast cancer and the process we’ve gone through towards her surgery this coming Friday, October 5, 2012.

We had spent the weekend dealing with the stress of having a water main problem. Our concerns were financial in nature – how were we going to come up with the money to pay the plumbers to dig a trench in our front yard to replace a leaking pipe that had turned our front yard into the Atchafalaya basin. Our concerns were cosmetic. What are the neighbors thinking? What is our yard going to look like?

While I waited at home for the plumbers to arrive, Alice went to go see her OB/GYN to have some tests done concerning frequent periods. Alice went to the appointment and during a routine breast exam, the Dr. felt a lump in her left breast.

That afternoon Alice and I seemed most concerned with what had become of our front yard. It looked like Mogadishu –  deep ruts from the back-hoe crisscrossed, there was a six foot high pile of dislodged shrubbery, and there was a blanket of mud across much of the yard.

We spoke about the various procedures the Dr. had recommended one of which would most likely mean that she wouldn’t be able to conceive any more children. I know Alice mentioned the lump, but it seemed secondary to me – something that needed to be checked on but nothing too serious. After all, she’s only 37, I’ve never heard of her mention any cancer in her family and I really just thought that this was going to be some sort of cyst or growth or something.

Alice was beginning to experience some anxiety and grief that next Wednesday. She couldn’t immediately go in for the mammography, so she planned to have it done first thing Thursday morning. The night before the mammography I know she was a little spooked and emotional. We spoke about the possibility of her loosing her ability to have children. Even though we weren’t planning to have children, I know this was sad for her. Alice intimated that she was worried about the breast exam / mammography as well but still from my perspective, her vagina was the main issue, not her boobs.