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The Best Worst Year Ever

January 1, 2013

This is Danielle’s latest blog entry. I couldn’t say it better myself.

As I stop to reflect on this past year, I can’t help but be in awe of all that has taken place. It hardly seems possible that we are beginning a new year, because in some ways it feels like 2012 just started! 2011 had been a difficult year for our family. Brian had lost his job and we found ourselves back in Georgia with no job prospects and no home. Brian’s parents graciously allowed us to move in with them until we got on our feet again. Little did they know how long that would take! God brought us through an incredibly difficult time and taught us to depend on Him like never before. As 2011 drew to a close, we looked forward to all that 2012 would bring. In January, we began the year off with excitement as Brian started a new job with a company he loves. God provided for us and after much searching were able to buy a home in April. Things seemed to be falling into place for us finally and 2012 seemed like it was going to be “our year.” Although I had found a lump under my right arm and another in my right breast, I really didn’t think it was anything to worry about. When I finally was able to see a doctor, I never dreamed that appointment on June 4th would change my life forever. For the first time I heard the word “cancer” and realized it might be a very real possibility for me. As we walked out of the doctor’s office that day I jokingly told Brian “maybe 2013 will be our year!”

The next day when the call came that confirmed I had cancer, things began to move very rapidly and the next six months felt like a complete whirlwind. I had my first surgery to insert my infiltration port for chemo on June 16th and my first chemo treatment took place on June 22nd. Though it was a difficult few months, God carried me through six rounds of chemo that ended on October 8th. That day was quite a celebration for our family! Exactly one month later on November 8th, I had a bilateral mastectomy where my surgeon removed the remaining cancer in my body that chemo didn’t take care of. I count this day as my official cancer free day! The pathology reports after surgery revealed some close margins around where the cancer was removed and all eight lymph nodes that were removed from under my arm were positive for cancer. There was also a lymph node on my collar bone that the PET scan before chemo revealed that was unable to be surgically removed. Until I had a CT scan we would not officially know that all the cancer was gone. The call came on December 26th and my radiation oncologist said the most beautiful words “there is no trace of cancer left in your body!” So now I call this date my really official no more cancer date! What a great way to end the year!

God has taught me so much this year about depending on Him. He has been so faithful to carry me through my scariest days. He has been my Prince of Peace and my Jehovah-Jirah (my provider). I’ve learned to be (more) comfortable in my own skin now that I don’t really care who sees me bald! I’ve made some wonderful friends this year who I would have never met we’re it not for breast cancer. I’ve been completely blown away by all the amazing acts of love shown to our family, including people who don’t even know me personally. My love for my family has grown even deeper as they have walked this road with me. Although, this hasn’t been an easy year by any means, I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. I celebrate this battle with breast cancer as a huge spiritual marker on my journey with Christ.

Although the new year will begin with 30 rounds of radiation for me as a preventive measure, I am looking forward to being done with yet another phase of this cancer journey. What a celebration it will be when I’m all done! One of the most important things God has taught me this year is just to take one day at a time and enjoy being in His presence. I have no idea what 2013 will bring, but I do know God is walking before me and beside me. When fear of the future tries to creep in I remind myself how I want to become like the woman mentioned in Proverbs 31:25
“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.”
Happy New Year! Walk with Him this year!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. dianefox106 permalink
    January 1, 2013 12:35 pm

    Love you and your family! It has been a privileged of pry for you this past year. Thanks for the blog so we know what is going on with you. God has used it for sure! Blessings and Hugs to all of you. Wishing you a blessed and happy new year!

    • January 3, 2013 3:17 pm

      Thank you for your prayers Diane! We have definitely felt them this year! I often look at our prayer map and am reminded how many people are praying for us all over the world!

  2. Pat Peaden permalink
    January 1, 2013 10:04 pm

    Happy New Year Danielle and Brian. Praying that 2013 will be your year.

  3. Dan Perdue permalink
    January 3, 2013 3:09 pm

    Great post by Danielle. With you around, she should have no trouble laughing without fear of the future.

    • January 3, 2013 3:15 pm

      Thanks Dan! I try to be funny. Typically unsuccessfully. She has definitely proven to be my hero. Both spiritually and emotionally.

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