Hello again my friends!

5

Hello again my friends,

It’s been over a month since my last post so I figured it’s time to update you all and start writing again on a regular basis.

So just in case you missed the memo, I made it through surgery and they could not find any cancer in my tissue!!!

It has been eight weeks since my surgery and I am glad it is over. I still have some weird numbness in my underarm and arm. My breast is whole, I can’t complain…but for those of you who may be getting a lumpectomy in the future, it doesn’t look the same. I’m left with a divot and no feeling. It’s a little bizarre to not have any feeling where you once did. I have two scars that are healing very well. My surgeon did a great job! 🙂Tamika & Jesyca

I definitely took pain meds after surgery and it was helpful. One of my sutures is still under the skin and making it pucker a little and I have occasional pain and soreness still but I know this will pass.

I met with my Surgeon and Oncologist Tuesday November 11 for a follow up and to discuss Radiation. The incisions look great except I have some puckering on the end of one of them. The stitch under the skin still hasn’t dissolved and it gets super itchy but the Doctors like what they are seeing. 🙂 I had my Herceptin Treatment that day and I had friends from out of town come visit. Thank you again Jesyca and Brian for hanging out with us while I got it done! 🙂

One of the big decisions I faced after surgery was radiation. Everyone is full of opinions, but this isn’t the type of choice you make based on others opinions.

I declined radiation. Yep, that’s right…I’m not doing it…and I have gotten some interesting responses. First off my doctors were not happy with this decision. I had to meet with them a few times to let them know that I was serious about this decision. My Radiation Oncologist was the most frustrated about this decision and repeatedly asked what I was afraid of and continued to emphasize how much I needed to do this. Talking with my doctors three weeks ago made me feel like even though they were saying the decision was mine, it really wasn’t. The Radiation Oncologist showed me my PET Scan results from the beginning and I didn’t just have the big tumor but many more and my lymph nodes were lit up like crazy.

So you may be asking: Tamika, why would you choose to go against your doctors, are you crazy?

Let me take you back to the beginning of all of this…

My name is Tamika and I believe in Jesus, I believe that he died for my sins and rose again. I believe that the bible is Truth. I believe in Grace and Mercy and I believe in healing. I know without a doubt that I have felt the peace of God throughout this whole journey. It’s a peace that I can’t explain. It’s beyond anything I have ever felt and my radiologist was wrong, I am not afraid. If you knew me before all of this, fear was a close companion of mine.

What we do in life is a choice we make every day and this choice is mine. After Chemo I didn’t have the overwhelming peace that I had going into Chemo and making a decision about radiation was unclear. William was freaking out and about four weeks ago I finally decided on my answer.

My husband and I are now on the same page, but for a few weeks he was living in fear about my future. Fear wasn’t a factor for me and I have a boldness to stand up for myself that I never had. I have this amazing peace and joy once again. No matter what my future holds I will trust that God will take care of me.

When I met with my Surgeon and Oncologist on Tuesday November 11, I told them about my peace and they both relaxed and finally said it’s your decision. My Oncologist even told me that with my results to chemo they don’t have data showing that I’m better off with radiation or not, they just don’t know.

In the beginning of all of this a friend came and prayed for me and that night I felt a shift in the way my armpit felt and only one week after my first Chemo treatment the lymph nodes and tumor started shrinking. That doesn’t happen in just one week. I will reiterate again that the drugs helped, prayer helped and using alternative treatments at home helped. I am alive and I just want to live. So many of you have supported me through words, finances and helping with the kids or house and I am so thankful to all of you! 🙂 This journey isn’t over and there will be many more decisions to make, so please continue to pray for me. Pray for wisdom and peace to guide me.

I love you,

Tamika

AUTHOR

wsteffenauer

5 Comments

  1. Joelle Barron-Cooper | November 21, 2014 at 1:19 am
     

    You are an amazing woman!! Your story is so inspiring!!

    Reply
  2. Dale n'Angela Dixon | November 21, 2014 at 1:51 am
     

    I loved reading this Tamika!!! Touched my heart!!!

    Reply
  3. Charity Casados Ordaz | November 21, 2014 at 1:56 am
     

    Amen. I agree you have to except what you were giving and have the courage to not give into throwing in the towel. Glad u stood up for yourself and glad you are better

    Reply
  4. Joan Anderson Barron | November 21, 2014 at 3:04 am
     

    Joelle, In many ways, her experiences closely parallel yours. You both are amazing and courageous women!

    Reply
  5. Sylvia N Bryan Teruya | November 21, 2014 at 4:47 am
     

    Tamika, you are my sweet daughter and I am so proud of you! Trusting the Lord can not always be easy but I am so thankful for the peace you have. I will continue to pray for wisdom and Shalom over you and Will and Micah and Julia. I thank God that he has brought you to the place your at today. I love you!!! Mom

    Reply

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