Health Update

I know it has been awhile since I have written and I have plans to change that – writing on my blog on a more consistent basis.  But for now I felt it was important to request prayer from my Team AJ peeps. I’ll give you some background and then an update, but as I said to my boys when we updated them, “Repeat after me: Mommy is NOT sick again”.  I want to make that part very clear first!

Back in May I had my annual mammogram.  Every year this causes a small bout of PTSD for me not to mention it is extremely painful (more than the usual boob-smooshing) due to the surgeries I have had.  I had the mammogram and was told to wait.  About 90 minutes later I was told to come back for a sonogram.  I could tell the sonographer kept reviewing the same spot over and over and as much as I tried to block it out – I knew – they had found something.  I went back to the room and another 90 minutes passed until a nurse came in and said that they were still looking over all of the data and that they were going to send Mark back to sit with me.  (Until now we had just been texting back and forth from the waiting room and the exam room). I really was not having a good feeling about all of this.  Another hour went by and the PA came in saying that the doctor would be in soon. Another hour goes by and Dr. Steinhaus came in and told me what I had assumed.  They found something on my left side and it was large and concerning enough that they were ordering a biopsy.  Unfortunately, they did not have a biopsy appointment available for two weeks. So after a 9am appointment lasting until 3pm we left with no more answers and a 14 day waiting period before I might even be able to get answers.

Fast forward two weeks – amazing things happened over these two weeks – I will for sure share about this coming up soon.  I go in for the biopsy – there was an issue with the patient before me so I got to wait another 2 hours.  Then what should have been 3 samples turned into 8 samples which proceeded with me getting light-headed and faintish.  This was the Wednesday after Memorial Day and I was told that the lab was backed up due to the holiday long weekend and that I shouldn’t expect any results until Monday. But due to a small miracle I got a phone call Friday that it came back benign, but that she did want me to make an appointment to talk to her about further options.

This was the Friday before we left for our LightHouse Family Retreat.  It was not lost on me that I was supposed to get a call on Monday whether my cancer had returned when I was serving a family currently battling childhood cancer.  (If you don’t know what I’m talking about regarding LightHouse Family Retreat read back on a few previous posts and you will learn what I am referring to.)

I met with Dr. Steinhaus and she let me know that the size of the spot was large enough to recommend surgery; a mastectomy.  It would be up to me – my call – she let me know the risks either way.  I made an appointment with the plastic surgeon, Dr. Mackay and he let me know that he agreed with Dr. Steinhaus.  So Mark and I discussed it, prayed about it, and decided that I would proceed with the mastectomy.

Next Monday, September 9 at 1:30 I will have a left side mastectomy.  December 9, I will have my follow-up reconstruction surgery.  This obviously should be a much easier recovery than 3 years ago.  I shouldn’t have to have lymph nodes removed and I wont be starting chemotherapy 4 weeks later.

I am taking a medical leave of absence from work (yes I’m working full-time again at our church – another update for another time).  My MIL will stay with us the week of the surgery.  Mom and Dad will come in town the week after that.  I’m hoping to be back to work the first week of October and only be out of commission the month of September.

So that’s the health update. You might be asking how I’m doing and/or feeling?  I’m okay – I’ve done this before so I know what to expect.  I’ve had some regret that I didn’t do both sides to begin with, but I can’t change that and I’m making the choice now so I don’t ever have to have a mammogram again – no more short-term PTSD – no more scans.  That part I’m thrilled about.  Emotionally, I am good.  My family and friends and church family are all surrounding me and supporting me so well.  I am blessed.

Please follow along my Team AJ facebook page and I will make sure updates are posted. Thank you for your continued prayers. As always – I serve a God who is never surprised – and with that I am comforted.

6 Replies to “Health Update”

  1. Prayers and thoughts for you and your family, successful surgery, and recovery. Will be following your updates. Love, ♥️

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  2. Thank you for sharing your journey with everyone. We are happy to join you and everyone else in prayer for ALL things to go smoothly. Here’s a hug 🤗 I love you!! You’re so brave and strong!! You’ve got this – cuz He does! 💕 xo Kelly

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  3. Just read this….. Thankful for good doctors and medical technology. As well as a God who heals and comforts us. Praying for you, Ashley! ❤️

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