The year 2003 felt more like a hurricane that would never end rather than a storm that would eventually lose steam and drift off.

It started with a routine mammogram in March that suddenly was no longer routine.  A needle biopsy in April confirmed cancer cells which led to two lumpectomies – the first in May where wide enough clean margins were not taken.  The second in June finally proved satisfactory and then eight weeks of radiation therapy was scheduled as soon as the site had healed enough to begin to burn it out and destroy whatever cells might not have been removed by surgery.  The five day a week radiation therapy began in late August and ran through the fall with only a four day break in between.  As the eight weeks progress, I found it harder and harder to work, leaving me short of breath, extreme breast tenderness and exhaustion.

It didn’t help that after five years of what I called myself “the second bleeding woman” of the bible I was told that the excessive blood loss due to fibroids was inhibiting the effects of the radiation therapy and I was started on a regimen to stop the bleeding entirely.  And they couldn’t have done this five years earlier?  Because my type of breast cancer can often lead to cervical cancer they suggested I have a total hysterectomy which would also have the benefit of permanently stopping the bleeding.  At this point, feeling beaten with nothing else to lose I said “let’s just finish the year off the way it started”. With one month to recuperate from the radiation, I was scheduled for surgery on November 11, 2003.

Honestly, I felt like God had deserted me.  Did He not love me?  A friend told me that God created the shoulders to carry burden to which I replied that “God had me confused with someone  with much broader shoulders.”

I was about to learn just how close God was to me.  When they opened me up they not only found the offending fibroids but 14 lbs. of additional fibroids as well as cysts and a benign tumor attached to my appendix which was hot and ready to burst.

I was told I would have never made it to Thanksgiving had I not had the hysterectomy.  Had this tumor burst by the time I got to the emergency room and in surgery, there would have been massive infection and I could have died.

In essence the breast cancer saved my life.  Frankly, I think it was a God who saved my life.

While it was a heck of way to lose 14 lbs of what my daughter called “Mom’s orchard of fruits”, God showed me that He not only loved me but had carried me on His shoulders.

I can see God’s handiwork, not just in 2003, but throughout my entire life.  Maybe it’s because I have some mileage on this body and the scars to prove it.  Each scar, those seen and unseen, have only led me in a closer walk with Him and to see the blessings through the stressings that permeated throughout the calamities and mayhem of my life.  All along the way God has been present either through the Holy Spirit or through the “angels” we call people who have served Him by helping me.

And I have been blessed by them all.

Laura Story sings a song called Blessings.  Some of the words sum up my feelings whether it is during medical mayhem or sleepless nights:

What if your blessings come through raindrops

What if Your healing comes through tears

What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near

What if trials of this Life are Your mercies in disguise

My life, like many others, has been a rollercoaster ride but each low has been a mercy in disguise.

 

Thank you for reading my post.  If you have found it encouraging please consider liking, commenting or sharing it.  Feel free to even re-blog – may these words take flight!

I have additional insights I’d love to share with you found in the pages of my debut book: Surviving Medical Mayhem – Laughing When It Hurts.  To order a copy or learn more go to my website at www.lorettaschoen.com

Blessings for Health & Wellness.