A new mom dives into parenthood. Will our heroine survive?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Saturday Spotlight - Supermom with Breastcancer

My friend Lisa is the exact opposite of what you'd think of when you think of anyone who might be sick. She's young and energetic. She's hard working and on the go. She's the devoted wife of a youth pastor and the loving mother of two young boys. But Lisa is sick - she has breast cancer. How does this happen? It truly makes you question your faith. In our human ways we automatically think that this should only happen to a bad person who "deserves" it. Why should a good woman be thrown into the ring with cancer?

Lisa is our Saturday Spotlight this week because she thinks of her cancer in exactly the opposite way. She considers it a blessing in disguise because through her struggle, she might be able to help others going throught the same thing. In fact, when talking with her throughout all of this, she has a way of putting YOU at ease, when you feel like you should be the one to offer comfort. But that is Lisa's way. She is a very optimistic and glass half full kind of person.

Lisa's battle with breast cancer began about 2 months ago when she discovered an abnormality on her areola. After discovering this was a symptom of Padgett's Disease, a rare form of cancer, she immediately went to the doctor. The doctor looked at this abnormality, which was like a blister, and told her it was unlikely it was cancer because of her age and history. There is no breast cancer is Lisa's family and she is only 35 years old. Apparently Padgett's Disease RARELY presents in anyone younger than 65. So the doctor prescribed some topical cream and told her to come back if didn't go away.

But that wasn't good enough for Lisa. She said that "the Lord just wouldn't let me let it go", and so she demanded to be tested. The doctor didn't feel it was necessary but did so anyway. When the test results came back, they were positive for Padgett's.

Padgett's Disease is a form of breast cancer that usually presents in woman over the age of 65, and who have ANOTHER underlying form of cancer. So the fact that Lisa had Padgett's meant that she likely had a another cancer as well. Time for more tests - luckily no other cancer was found.

In addition to all this, Lisa was tested for the "Cancer Gene". Apparently there is a gene that makes some woman 80% more likely to have breast cancer and because of her situation's rarity she was likely to have it. If she tested positive for this gene, Lisa would need to undergo surgery for a double mastectomy to avoid cancer in the future. Thank God, this test was also negative.

Two weeks ago Lisa underwent surgery for a single mastectomy and reconstruction. She is currently home for 6 weeks of recovery. I am SO happy to say that all of the cancer was removed during the procedure and she should be fine. Lisa is facing all of this with such courage and optimism. She is truly an amazing person and a fabulous Super Mom!

Her story has inspired me and also taught me a lesson in prevention. I have never once given myself a breast exam. I always thought I was too young to worry about that - but now I know it can happen to ANYONE. Lisa said she hopes to save others through her experience - who knows - maybe she saved me? Maybe someone out there will read this and get checked and maybe that will save their life! Thank you Lisa for being such a wonderful person and for sharing your story!

For more info on Breast Cancer please click this link: http://www.breastcancer.org/


Debbie J. said...

Great Post and so, so true! Keep up the good work!

Littlepenpen said...

God bless your friend and I hope she has a complete recovery. Yes, breast exams and mammograms are so very important!