My mind has raced this week…Words like tragedy, victim, hero, celebrity, brave…
We have all heard about the “Angelina Effect” by now…how shocked the world was that this woman would give up her breasts because she carried the breast cancer gene.
I started thinking first about my breasts…I am not trying to be glib, but rather frank.
We gals are born without them really…then they develop whether we want them or not. I have never known anyone who thought theirs were “right,” they are too big, too small, too flat, too droopy, lop-sided….
Then you mature and if you put them on display or hid them under a bushel Qit really told the world you had arrived. You suddenly are ripe and ready and a woman.
Babies come for some, then those breasts swell and ache and after all that transformation you give birth and your breasts become well, udders…and you no longer look at them in a sensual way–but a tool to calm and comfort and nourish your baby.
Eventually you wean your babies and you can’t believe you once whipped them out 12 times and day and let one of your ornery chill’ins suckle from it when needed…and no matter what the size you are left with something, softer, lower, longer than what you had before….
I told you I was thinking about breasts–then I focused a while on the shock everyone was displaying over Angelina and I had the thought that she was just really taking the next step we woman, we mothers take–we give up our bodies for our children a bit at a time.
Morning sickness, weight gain, heart burn, stretch marks, back pain, hemorrhoids, labor, delivery, nursing, sleep deprivation, potty training, boo boo kissing, home work helping, Dr. visits, heart-break soothing, booster club baking, good night kissing….
It seemed like a no-brainer to me. If I had the knowledge and the power would I choose to live a long life and see my children grow into men–of course!!! If the cost was a breast?!
How would I really feel? Would I feel like my “womanhood” was damaged in a way? Would it affect the relationship I have with my husband? Would I regret it?
I really know as much about Breast Cancer as Opie Taylor knew about gang violence…but I have been touched. Touched by friends and loved ones, suffering and loss.
I have been touched by Carrie. Carrie is a bright, sparkley, talented gal. She really is my sister’s friend, I just horned in. She has a story…She agreed to share..,
Good morning, Sister Slice fans! My name is Carrie Fanderclai, and I’ve been asked to be a guest blogger. I am first and foremost, a child of God, a wife to Kurt and a mom to Kyra and Tyler. I am a foster mom to newborns and a photographer. And while I’m not comfortable with attention, Sara and Amy felt that my story was one worth sharing.
I started and restarted writing this many times. I’ve been up nights thinking about the best way to share my story with you. I’ve decided to give you the nuts and bolts of my story, how God is using my story, and then let you ask questions. No question is too personal. Ask away.
In the last 3 months, I have had breast cancer, the mastectomy of my left breast, a twisted ovary that landed me an overnight in the hospital, and a full hysterectomy. I have had mammograms, ultrasounds, biopsies, MRI’s, prosthesis fittings, oncology visits, pain management, hot flashes, restless legs, and follow-up appointments. I don’t have any stamina and just want/need rest. I have taken stock in pop-ice, Advil and Unisom.
In January, I had a neighbor and friend pass away from a 4 year battle with breast cancer. One of the last things we talked about was how stupid it was to continue to postpone my mammogram. She made me call right then and there in her living room. By the end of January, she had gone to heaven. February 6th, I had my mammogram, which started my journey. She is an angel to me. God used my sweet friend to speak to me. I’m so grateful I listened.
Shortly after the testing began, I was praying. I kept hearing mastectomy in my head. Not in a scary way or gloom and doom kind of way, but it was definitely there. I continued to read scripture and pray. I prayed to God about whether I should share with my Facebook friends or take a wait and see approach. I felt strongly about sharing my story. I am the first of my circle to go through this. I resolved to make Isaiah 41:10 my mantra and press on. The more I prayed this verse, the more I was peaceful. It’s true! I became so close to God through this that all fear and anxiety was GONE. When they walked me in for my mastectomy, I told them to ‘bring it’. I know and knew then that MY God wouldn’t leave or forsake me. I believe Him.
6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
My recovery from both surgeries was filled with little pain, a lot of encouragement from friends, gifts, meals, and rides for the kids. I have been so blessed. I can’t believe I get to live this life! My scars are badges of what God has brought me through. They are a testament to who HE is. I’m healthy right now. I have a new world view. I am not defined by cancer. I am defined by Christ. No matter what I’ve done, the king of the universe loves me. His grace sustains me. I can’t fully grasp the awesomeness of God. Nobody this side of heaven can. I am longing to share him with everyone.
Make no mistake, I am changed. I now want to use this experience to help women. I can no longer sit still and let life happen to me. I want to encourage, dry tears, offer hugs and prayers. I want to sing to Him. I want to hug my husband and kids tighter. I long for an even more intimate relationship with God. I want to do His will. Love like He loves. Pursue Him like he pursued me.
Remember who you are, friends.
Do you have questions or comments for Carrie? She is ready and willing to answer. I doubt you will ever find a gal who is sweeter, braver or more
Sincerely, Sara Honestly, Amy and Carrie too!