Story Time!

Story Time/History of this Blog/Why I Started Blogging: In the summer of 2010, I was a happily married 28-year-old who lives with cystic fibrosis. I had found a pace of life that worked for me, a great job (working at my dad’s jewelry studio), loving friends & family, and the most adorable nephew in the world. There was a little issue in my lower abdomen that I had to get checked out, but overall life was good!
Here is an email I wrote to friends and family on June 30, 2010.
Prepare yourself: I’ve got some bad news to share in regards to my health. I have been following up on some issues in my lower abdomen which have been with me for a while now, with no symptoms, and this week have had an ultrasound and a CT scan to find out more information. It turns out that the result was a highly abnormal scan, of ovarian malignancy. This term was used by my doctor interchangeably with cancer. She is convinced that the “complex pelvic mass” is cancer, but it can’t be 100% sure until the mass is removed. It’s big. It’s 17x13x9cm big. They also suspect that it has infiltrated my omentum (the protective layer of the abdomen). There is fluid in my abdomen and pelvis.
Please pray for us, this is a serious diagnosis and we don’t know anything more about it yet. I know that I will soon be meeting with a gynacological (sp?) oncologist to have an exam/counseling, and then surgery as soon as they can. I will keep you posted as we learn more.
As you are now experiencing, this is a total shock. I never thought that I would have cancer – as Mark says, “lightning doesn’t strike twice!” We joke about it some, but living with Cystic Fibrosis gives us some issues by itself!
It is important to me to be thankful in all things. Right now, here’s what I’m thankful for:
1. You! – thank you in advance for your MANY prayers on our behalf.
2. God’s visible presence in all of this through timing – Mom and I were planning on flying to CA to see Grandpa and Grandma Ryan on their 65th anniv this next month, but we never bought tickets. Josh and I are always planning on vacations by this time in the summer and we have no plans/no tickets purchased. Also, a smaller thing but so important to me: April (in Nashville) found out by a phone call from me today – and her parents and nephew are with her visiting from MI so she’s not alone! It all helps my heart and shows me that, although this is scary, God is fully present and even showing himself to me – ALREADY. I love Him for that!!
3. This may be a little twisted, but I have CF. I never expected a “full” life span – I never knew I would live to be 28 and married and HAPPIER than I’ve ever been. I am not being pulled and jerked into a shocking state where I have to reconsider my whole life set-up. I was not expecting cancer, but it is different for me to find out I have cancer than me without CF. I already know that I live each day by God’s grace. So do we all.
4. I am going to have surgery and probably stuff afterward, maybe chemo, I don’t know. BUT as far as my CF goes, I am healthy right now! It’s summer, I’m feeling good, and I am as able as I could ask to be to fight for my health.
..AND here are some things you could pray about:
1. Sleep – (all of us) – for strength and to keep out those middle-of-the-night thoughts that we all know about
2. My appetite- I don’t want to lose any more weight than I need, I know this can be a health concern for me so let’s start praying now!
3. The obvious- please pray for healing, for the surgeons, and for a complete recovery from cancer.
4. Josh and I, and everyone close to us – this news is affecting lots of people, you included. Let’s pray that our hearts won’t be troubled, that we will not be fearful, that we will feel God’s power and His love, and (this is big for me) give us a sound mind. NO WILD IMAGINATIONS.
Update after surgery:
After a successful surgery on July 21, 2010, I am glad to report that I am cancer free! When the *giant* tumor was removed, we were immediately told that it was benign. Thank you, Jesus!! More details of my recovery were recorded on blog posts here in July/August, 2010. Check out the menu under “Story Time” for all posts Pre/Post Surgery. Thanks!

31 thoughts on “Story Time!”

  1. I couldn’t not be more proud of you! The strength and faith that you show to all of us is an inspiration. Please know that you are prayed for and loved. There is so much to say and (I confess) I am happy to have this way to communicate with you! Today I am on Prince Edward Island in Canada…but I feel completely connected to you – and for that I AM THANKFUL!

  2. and yes…I am aware of the grammatical error at the beginning of my post

  3. Julie Hurley said:

    Hi there, You ALL are in our prayers and there are several churches in the area praying for you. We all know how powerful prayer is. In my devotions this morning in the sunshine and the cool breeze was this….. God’s grace is immeasurable, His mercy is inexhaustible, His peace is inexpressible. How wonderful that HE is the one in control.


  4. Praying this very moment as you are in surgery. I am so thankful that we serve a God that is present and able.

  5. Suzanne, we were directed to you by Mandy Breen and have been praying for you for the past few days! My husband has just started chemotherapy after a cancer diagnosis and even though you got the incredible news of BENIGN!, we have found such comfort in reading your posts. We love your connection to the Lord and have really felt strong ties to many of your scriptures. We pray for a speedy recovery from surgery, congratulations, and God Bless You!

    -Laurie & Errick Springfield

  6. Eric and Eleanor Seest said:

    thinking and praying for you Suzanne…

  7. Leslie Boonstra said:

    Hey Suzanne!

    I was looking around the internet to figure out how I could reconnect with you. Imagine how happy I was to find your blog? Then imagine how happy I was after reading your entire blog?!

    I recently started working with Sandy Hardy. We put 2 and 2 together and figured out that we both knew you. I was so sad to hear about the possibility of your malignancy, and overjoyed for you when I found out it was benign.

    It makes my heart happy to know that you and Josh are doing well!

    • Leslie!

      I’m so glad you found the blog. And to know that you’re still at Cherry Street! I’d love to catch up with you and see how you and Joel are doing.

      Thanks for leaving a comment, I’m gonna try a couple of email addresses and see if any get to you. 🙂

  8. Rod and Bernice Schmidt said:

    We got your invitation and are planning to attend Sunday, September 12

  9. Suzanne, what an incredible story you have to tell! And what an amazing perspective you have on life. I am so glad I found your blog (by you finding mine) and I look forward to following you and your adventures.

    • Samantha, it is an incredible story, isn’t it? I’m grateful for the chance to share it – I feel like it just points to God’s healing touch on my life. As with everyone, I’m sure there’ll be more adventures, so hang in there!

  10. God is so good. Healer!

  11. I agree… It is a wonderful story. I love your posts as well!

    • Thanks! I’m glad you like the posts. My hope on this blog is to post real things about life from a positive perspective. You know, whenever possible. 🙂

      Feel free to stick around & join on in!

  12. I just found your blog and YES! God is so good! Stay strong and know there are many of us praying for you and wishing you God’s Will for a wonderful life. Maybe if you have a minute, you’ll visit my blog and make a comment or two – and pls join my communities. Hugs, GraceinAZ (aka Pat) Growing Old With Grace

    • Hi Pat,

      Glad you stopped by here! And thanks for the prayers. I do believe that answered prayers play a big role in me being here today. Know what I mean? 🙂

      On my way to check out your blog..

  13. Yay for a benign tumor! I’m so relieved for you. What a journey!

  14. Hey, I just stumbled upon your blog and wow, first of some amazing photographs and second, you sure have been through a lot so I just wanted to wish you all the best and keep posting. I love your blog.

    Tanith 🙂

  15. What a great story! I’m glad you found my blog, so I could find yours!

  16. Thanks for sharing your story and I’m happy you are now well and healthy. NIce meeting you Suzanne 🙂 Keep happy always!
    God blees 🙂

  17. Hi Suzanne,

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog today, and now I’m stopping by yours! Looking forward to reading more, and am very inspired by what I have read so far.

    Shelley. (Melbourne, Australia) xx

  18. Suzanne! I just read your lovely comment on my blog and came over to say hi. I am amazed at your story (even the small part that I have come across so far) and am so encouraged by your positive outlook and your faith in a God who redeems. Thank you for this light and life that you contribute to the world! So glad to connect with you, and now I am going to read more about you and your wonderful life. Thanks for your comment!

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