Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Not Your Average (Open) Letter

Here is a letter I sent yesterday to a number of people who, graciously, pray for me:

I don't really know how to introduce this topic; there aren't many good lead-ins. So I'm just going to say that last Friday afternoon, a surgical oncologist phoned me to tell me that, to his surprise, results of some tests I had came back positive: I have breast cancer.

Today my friend Heather came with me to meet with him, and he laid things out very personably and plainly. I have neither the most serious nor the least serious type of this cancer (level 2 out of 3). It is invasive, not in situ, but I have some necessary proteins that make it not quite as scary as it could be. I will be having surgery and radiation therapy; we're waiting for some further results to come back before any decisions can be made about chemo.

I have this tendency to blow things out of proportion, so the fact that I still feel remarkably calm about all this is a little puzzling. I suspect a large part of it is the peace of Christ, although since I have a hard time availing myself of that most of the time, there may also be a part of this calm which is solely because this is, as yet, new, and the attention-seeking part of me perversely likes it, and the hypochondriacal part is happy to actually have been right for once. Yes. I am a complex and flawed person! ;-)

I think I'm most concerned about financial fall-out (I do have insurance, but I'm not sure how comprehensive the coverage is, and I will not be able to work for a few weeks, at jobs where time worked equals time paid), but of course the physical hazards are potentially high. More than anything, I would like prayer that my attitude through all this will reflect true trust in Jesus, and His love . . . and if some of my friends could somehow get to know Him through this--well, then I would feel it was worth it.

(That last bit sounds kind of ridiculously pious, doesn't it? I think I mean it, though.)

Thanks for your friendship and prayers. I couldn't get through this without you.


This blog may well be able to be renamed "The Cancer Diaries" soon. I apologise for this. Seeing, however, as I have been feeling totally different about this on every given day, I may well not be capable of talking about much else for a while.


A Musing Mom said...

That's tough news, to say the least. I'm praying for you, friend.

Stacey said...

I'm so sorry to hear this Jenn! Please know that I am praying for you and thank you for including me in the praying friends letter. No need to apologize for using your blog to express - please let us be there with you lifting you up.

Mark said...

Jenn, I only started reading your blog recently. And then I read this post this evening. I'm a pastor in Mansfield, OH and just want you to know I appreciate your transparency about this tough news. I am praying for you even as I write this. Mark

Jenn said...

AMM--Yes it is. Thank you.

Stacey--Thanks for being willing to read.

Mark--Thanks for reading, too--and praying. Nice to "meet" you.

Tina said...

Just found you through a link here:
http://martyholman.com/?p=958 and would like to offer you support and prayers - as a 5 year survivor of Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. I am sure you are flooded with information and opinions - but I am here for whatever you may need.

Jenn said...

Tina--thank you for your prayers and concern--and for identifying. I'll definitely keep you in mind as a resource.