My world was turned upside down on May 17, 2019. While standing in the middle of Wal Mart that Friday afternoon, I learned that I had metastatic cancer. That phone call set me off an ever-changing path of doctor’s visits, tests, and tears. By the following Friday, May 24, I knew I had stage four breast cancer.
My husband and I spent the next three weeks in meetings with more doctors, studying treatment options, and enduring more tests. I can say with certainty that I have stage four breast cancer. The cancer started in my left breast and then moved (metastasized) to my bones touching everything from my spine to my ribs, to my skull to top of my left leg. I regularly experience back pain because the cancer compresses my spine. My cancer is hormone based, thriving off of estrogen and progesterone. To fight my cancer, I will take pills designed to keep my body from producing estrogen and progesterone (essentially forcing me into menopause at 36). While such treatments battle the cancer, they cannot overcome it. My cancer is deemed uncurable by the medical world. On average, those with hormone-based breast cancer survive 6 to 7 years with treatment.
But we will be doing all that we can to fight the cancer. I am participating in the Mayo Clinic Promise study. The study will track the genetic makeup of my cancer in hopes of directing me to the best treatment possible. I will be on hormone pills for as long as they work and will be flying to Rochester, MN 4 or more times a year.
We will need help covering the costs associated with traveling to and from Rochester, our insurance deductibles, and secondary expenses such as childcare and making our home more cancer friendly.
Peter and I don’t have the answers to why God allowed this cancer or even why He didn’t allow it to be diagnosed earlier.
But, we know that God is in control and reigning over the universe, including the cells in my very body. I felt a lump in my left breast back in November and thought it was different from other breastfeeding lumps I had had in the past. Given the fact that my aunt died young from breast cancer, I was concerned. When I mentioned it to my OBGYN in December, I was dismissed as low risk and told not to worry about the lump. If it was still there in six months, then come back. Yet, I began praying even then that if I was ill that God would reveal it and give me good health. “And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?” Matthew 8:23-27
We, like the disciples, are afraid of the storm. But the winds and waves must obey Jesus. So we put our faith in Him. We do not understand, but we know He cares for us. He will save us.But when Jesus heard [that Lazarus was ill] he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” John 11:4
Our faith and our hope is in God. He can heal me and prolong my life. Please continue to pray with us to that end.
For more info about my story visit Peter's blog here: https://witkowskiblog.com/2019/05/26/memo-aprils-breast-cancer/