this moment

June 9, 2016

as i sit in this moment – outside, nearly 8pm, glorious breeze and fading summer sunshine and a glass of red wine and the weight of the world lifted off my shoulders – i don’t even know if i have words big enough to capture it all.

most of all and in the deepest way in my bones, i feel grateful. relieved. like i can finally exhale. ive been holding my breath, consumed with excruciating worry, since having my breast MRI done 2 days ago.

the worry associated with these kind of tests is truly impossible to know unless you’ve walked this dark hard road. and this week’s worry flashed me back to the days and weeks after my initial diagnosis (5 months ago today) – the scans and MRI’s and tests and


consuming, gripping, valley of the shadow of death, fear.

so. i waited these 2 days, which coincided with the passing of my beloved patriarch papa 2 days ago ( a million blog posts couldn’t touch the depth of my love for that man and the depth of grief we are walking through) and i told my hubby yesterday, this is TOO MUCH.

and right now, i need the GOD of “too much” because i just can’t.

going through the motions this morning, errands and the park and LIFE and just trying to remember to breathe and to stop my mind from racing through possible scenarios for today. at one point, i missed a call from my oncologist’s office and a voice mail wasn’t left and my mind wandered to the possibilities – was it bad news and she didn’t want to leave a message? good news and she was eager to share? i had a dream recently in which i remember my oncologist said to me, “i have bad news and good news” … so i wondered if that forshadowed today. i kept reminding myself that the MRI would just show the response to chemo and it was a good response that we could physically feel and would likely be a “partial response” and my mastectomy would remove any remaining cancer.

of course my mind also wandered to dark places, imagining that perhaps cancer had spread to other areas; that my sweet doctor would walk in the room with a heavy heart and we’d have to discuss other treatment options. i willed my mind against those thoughts.

we arrived right on time for our 2pm appt after dropping our boys happily off at heather’s house (how much do i adore and appreciate that girl??). the medical assistant took us (me and hubby) back to the room and small talked and took my temp and all the while, my heart pounded. then we waited. at 2:24 we were still waiting.

then precious dr. west walked in with a bright smile on her face. i can’t remember her exact words (can we ever when in shock?!) but i did hear, “complete response” and no evidence of any cancer or abnormalities in either my left breast or lymph nodes. where there was clear malignancy before, nothing remained. everything looked normal.

tears came as i laughed and exhaled and felt a smile filling my entire being.

the rest of the appoinment is a blur of discussions about lingering chemo side effects (everything is lifting! every day is better!); mastectomy (meeting with local surgeon tomorrow and ucsf surgeon next wednesday – still not sure if i will have unilateral or bilateral mastectomy. many considerations and my oncologist is recommending unilateral. surgery likely in a couple weeks).

it literally all felt like downhill after receiving the MRI news – mastectomy, no problem! chemo, it’s DONE!

glory, glory … i am so thankful.


One Response to “this moment”

  1. Stacy Says:

    Oh, Emily. You’ve been on my heart so much this week. And now I know why. THIS. (((Thank you, dear God, for this.))) I am so very proud of you, friend. And so relieved for you, too, for this news. (((big hugs))) And prayers! ~Stacy

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