Cancer Journey/ HEALTH

Celebrating With My Friend

{I want a hat like that!}
Meet my sweet friend, Amanda.
She, too, is fighting breast cancer and today was her last day of radiation treatment!! 
I have never met her in person, but I have grown to love her deeply and I’m so thankful for her friendship to me!  She has been such an encouragement to me, she knows exactly what to say and when to say it whenever we talk.  She. Just. Knows.
{Amanda & John on their wedding night. They are newlyweds:-)}
{before diagnosis}
What has struck me most deeply about Amanda is her fearlessness.  Even when she admits fear, it is followed by faith that stomps fear.  She has given me perspective and helped me in my battle with fear.
{Her husband shaved his head with her.:)}
We “met” in the coolest way.  
My friend, Sharon, who came to take care of me after my mastectomy, was on her way home from the Chicago airport after being here with me for a week.  She and her husband, Porter decided to stop at a restaurant for a bite to eat.  My Sharon friend noticed a “girl with a really cute hat”and her husband, sitting across the restaurant, and knew that she, too, was in a battle for her life.  After being with me for a week, she had eyes to see another who was battling.  She told her husband and they decided that they wanted to pay for their meal.  On their way out, they introduced themselves and that is how two fighters, Amanda and I, were connected.  I AM SO GRATEFUL FOR THAT CHANCE MEETING.  I know God had a huge part in that, which makes me extra thankful.
When my friend, Sharon, got home, she called me and told me of her chance meeting.  She was tearful and touched, and I smiled knowing that Amanda had to have been blessed that night by meeting my awesome friends, Sharon and Porter.  Sharon said the opposite was true, they were the ones blessed.
{Just last week.  We are sportin’ the same hairdo, haircolor, and pink radiation chest burns!}
I found Amanda on Caring Bridge and Facebook, and was immediately touched by her story. 
I couldn’t believe how similar our stories were:
~We were both told by DOCTORS that the lumps we felt were nothing to worry about.
~We are both in our 30’s.  (She 30, I am 34)
~We were diagnosed within days of each other.
~We were both Stage 3.
~We both found out AFTER our surgery that it was Lobular, not Ductal.
~We both had positive lymph nodes.
~We both had mastectomies within a week of each other.
~We both were waiting to start radiation.
There were also differences
On top of everything else, Amanda and her husband, John has had to suffer a miscarriage that happened within days of her diagnosis, and the knowledge that conceiving a child may not happen for them, due to medication that she has to take for her cancer.  She has had to grieve that on top of everything else.  My heart goes out to my dear, strong, brave friend.  They had just received this news the night they were sitting there at the restaurant, the night our connection was made.  
Thinking about this makes my heart just ache.
Today we are CELEBRATING! 
Amanda has made it through her radiation.

She had a few more sessions than I had to have, and her skin has paid for it, so please pray for quick healing.  Please pray for her entire body, that this cancer will never, ever return.
Below is from Amanda’s Caring Bridge site, it is what SHE is praying, and I know she would be so grateful if you would join your prayers with hers..

From Amanda’s Caring Bridge journal: 

  I pray everyday to give me more time here on earth with my friends and family.  I pray to allow me to wake each morning to see another beautiful day he has created.  I pray to grow old with my loving husband.  I pray to see my sisters get older and graduate and one day marry (not that I’m rushing that one).  I pray to be cured from this horrible disease that has affected so many people I love and grown to have a relationship with.  I pray that one day this will all be a bad dream, but grow so much stronger from this (I know I will never forget this, this has made me who I am) I pray that one day that I can live my life somewhat normally without the BIG C hanging over my head. I pray that one day I will have a family of my own and be called Mommy. Out of all these things I have mentioned I pray that whatever God’s will be done, not mine.  I want whatever God has in store for me next, because he knows what is best for me.  

 I will leave you with one more thing that Amanda wrote that I just loved.  She ended her latest journal with a thank you to her husband.  I think they are just the cutest together, and I love what she had to say about him…
From Amanda’s Caring Bridge Journal:

 I know my husband does not read my journals, but I want everyone that reads to know, I would not be where I am today without my husband or God…he is the most amazing man that anyone could ever ask for, I love him dearly and I’m so grateful that he really does love me unconditionally.  I have heard stories of men that have left there wife’s during treatment, because A.) They couldn’t handle it (they couldn’t!! imagine what the one ACTUALLY going through it feels like!!) or B.) They just didn’t want to deal with all the stress and headache “CANCER” deals with.  It definitely has it’s ups and downs, but John always says, “We have to do what we have to” we really have no choice in the matter.  So thank you to all those husbands out there, that really mean…In sickness and in health, cause John did! 

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  • CoffeeJitters
    March 20, 2011 at 8:26 am

    some of the most amazing women I have met in my life have been fellow cancer survivors. Such a great story about how you met. Best wishes to all of you. (I finished up radiation in January – no one tells you how ugly burned skin can be… blech! and, OUCH! But it has faded back to red now and stopped hurting)

  • Magpie Shinies
    March 19, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    I’m in my 3rd year of my fight against breast cancer (I was diagnosed at 34), so I can sympathize with everything here, and some days I feel like I am not fighting cancer so much as enduring it. So I’ve stretched out my hand in friendship b/c we need as much support as we can get.

    Thank you again for the posting.

  • The Pennington Point
    March 18, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    God is amazing! I love her now too.

    One of my dearest friends came over to me in a restaurant 13 years ago and said, “You look like someone I need to know.” And we’ve been great friends ever since.

    I love this story! Lisa~

  • jeana
    March 17, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    this is beautiful! i love that you both have eachother. i will keep Amanda and her family in my prayers, as I do you and yours Amy.

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