The Journey of Lisa Avalon

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MY 2012 JOURNEY WAS SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT SOMETHING VERY DIFFERENT THEN WHAT IT HAS BECOME.  MY HUSBAND, ED, AND I HAD JUST COMPLETED THE LONG PROCESS OF ADOPTING A GIRL, GRACIE-MIN,  FROM KOREA.  NOT SOON AFTER SHE BECAME PART OF OUR FAMILY WE REALIZED THAT WE HAD BEEN SENT AN ANGEL IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE. SHORTLY BEFORE MY 43RD BIRTHDAY GRACIE-MIN ROLLED OVER ONTO ME IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT, HITTING  A SPOT AT THE TOP OF MY BREAST CAUSING EXTREME PAIN.  I INSTANTLY CONDUCTED A BREAST EXAM AND BECAME CONCERNED.  A WEEK LATER ON MY BIRTHDAY MY CONCERN WAS JUSTIFIED.  THE LUMP WAS HIGH UP IN MY RIGHT BREAST, STAGE 2,  WITH POSITIVE LYMPH NODES AND AN AGGRESSIVE PROTEIN – “HER2 POSITIVE.”  THE SURGEON  WAS SHOCKED THAT I EVEN FOUND THE LUMP AS IT WOULD NOT HAVE SHOWED UP ON A ROUTINE MAMMOGRAM.   BECAUSE OF ITS AGGRESSIVE NATURE I WAS TOLD I WOULD NEED SURGERY, CHEMOTHERAPY, AND RADIATION. 

THE SURGERY WENT AS WELL AS SURGERIES COULD GO WITH THE SURGEON BEING CONFIDENT THAT SHE GOT ALL THE CANCER.  AS SOON AS I RECOVERED I BEGAN CHEMOTHERAPY.  STARTING CHEMOTHERAPY WAS ONE OF THE WORST EXPERIENCES I HAVE EVER HAD.  THE NIGHT OF THE FIRST TREATMENT, MY BODY REJECTED IT IN EVERY WAY. I WAS SWEATING, SKAKING, RETCHING, HURTING, AND SCARED.  MY HUSBAND PRAYED OVER ME AND EACH TIME HE DID I FELT A WEIGHT LIFTED.  IT WAS THAT PRAYER THAT REASSURED ME I COULD GET THROUGH THE NEXT TEN HOURS OF HELL.  FROM THEN ON I HAVE BEEN BASICALLY BEDRIDDEN, WITH UNCONTROLLABLE SICKNESS THAT PREVENTS ME FROM DOING ALMOST EVERYTHING INCLUDING TAKING CARE OF MY FAMILY.  AS I WRITE THIS I HAVE JUST COMPLETED THE FIRST THREE DOSES OF THE STRONGEST CHEMOTHERAPY AND HAVE BEGUN THE NEXT PHASE WHICH DICTATES GETTING INFUSED ONCE A WEEK WITH TWO SEPARATE DRUGS.  TEN MORE WEEKS TO GO.

THROUGHOUT ALL OF THIS, DUE TO THE COMPASSION AND PRAYER OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS AS WELL AS MY FAITH IN GOD, WE ARE MAKING IT THROUGH.  NEIGHBORS HAVE COOKED MEALS FOR US, FAMILY MEMBERS HAVE SPENT NUMEROUS NIGHTS AT OUR HOUSE, AND PEOPLE WE HAVE NEVER EVEN MET BEFORE HAVE PITCHED IN TO HELP.  THIS ENTIRE EXPERIENCE MAY HAVE TEMPORARILY WEAKENED MY BODY, BUT IT HAS STRENTHENED MY SOUL.  I KNOW NOW MORE THAN EVER THAT I HAVE REASONS TO LIVE, I HAVE REASONS TO FIGHT, AND I WILL BEAT CANCER.

“TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND LEAN NOT ON YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING; IN ALL YOUR WAYS SUBMIT TO HIM AND HE WILL MAKE YOUR PATHS STRAIGHT.” PROVERBS 3: 5-6