One of the things I have learned about cancer is that it is not a diagnosis of one person. The cancer diagnosis effects the whole extended family and friends. When a doctor speaks the word "cancer" it feels like a punch in the stomach to the patient as well as to everyone who knows and loves that person. Cancer has a history of being a feared disease because of the difficulty in treating it effectively and in finding a cure or preventative treatment for it.
The fact that it is a "family diagnosis" has proven to be a source of great strength and comfort to me and Mark. We have received hundreds of phone calls, emails, comments, text messages, cards, letters, hugs, encouraging words, flowers, food, and gifts (it's almost like Christmas around here!). We have also felt the strength of literally thousands of people praying constantly around the globe.
Here is a glimpse of how the cancer diagnosis has effected my family:
Family Trips to the doctor's office:
Mark and Ashley singing original "I Hate Cancer" songs (No, neither of them can play the guitar!):
God has blessed me with the most amazing family and friends. I am so glad you are in this with me. I couldn't do it without you! And to all of you who feel like you need to "do something" and you feel helpless, please be aware that just knowing you are there should I need to call on you is a tremendous comfort and strength for me. Thank you for standing with us!
"Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble." Proverbs 17:17
Thank you for being my friends.
Update: Week one of chemo and radiation is complete with no side effects other than being tired. Week two starts tomorrow!