Each morning on our drive to daycare I ask Jillian who is on her heart so that we can bathe that person in prayer, and for as long as I can remember these two have been at the top of our list. This photo was taken two weeks before we found out that Mark had a genetic mutation that has all kinds of potentially scary outcomes, and two months before we found out that my mom had breast cancer.
Mom called me at work to tell me that her biopsy came back positive for cancer, and a week or two later, there they were. The pink flags. They adorn the corner of Robinwood Drive and Mt. Aetna during the month of October to represent the over 7,000 women in Washington County that will be diagnosed with breast cancer. That’s a lot of pink flags, representing a lot of people who lost the numbers game. And that’s how I’ve felt lately, the winner of a warped lottery. Our child ends up with a rare genetic disorder that only impacts a significantly small portion of people in the world, and then my mom gets cancer, all within a three month time period. Every day I drive past those 7,000 pink flags and I’m reminded of that.
Mom had her surgery on October 6th and we had to anxiously wait until the 19th to find out if cancer had spread to her lymph nodes and to determine if she needed chemo.
In the meantime we did our October thing, venturing to pumpkin patches.
On Monday morning I received the following text:
Great news! Best possible outcome. Stage 1A, closest stage to zero. 🙂 The entire cancerous area was only 1.5 cm and 95% of the area was DCIS (non-invasive) and only a tiny 6mm was invasive. All cancer was removed, and now just need 6-7 weeks of radiation and take a hormone blocker for 5 years. Yea!!
We’re so thankful for the break in the storm. Praise God!
The pink flags are obviously still there, and their intended purpose is to spread awareness and encourage women to get screened, but I’ll be happy when November comes and the vivid reminder is gone.
UPDATE: For those of you following along with the absurdity of our insurance situation, I wanted to provide a brief update on the shenanigans. I was informed that all of my Mark’s providers, and he has a lot of them, have had all payments retracted since May 1st. That means all of Mark’s doctors and therapists have gone unpaid for several months. This prompted a new onslaught of phone calls to providers and the two dueling insurance companies, which are essentially the same company, sigh. I was told on October 1st by Susan at Care First that they thought I dropped Mark from my employer’s plan and that created some confusion. She tells me that she will have it all reprocessed and give me a call no later than the following Tuesday. That day comes and goes, and I call again, and again. She dodges my calls. Out of the blue, I’m contacted by a new representative from Care First this past Tuesday. He informs me that Susan is no longer with us, not sure if that means at Care First or on earth, but what it does mean is that this poor man has inherited our “file”. He tells me that he had to start over with all of the claims but has finally ironed everything out with both plans and everyone is on the same page. I experience a brief exhale, and then I was contacted by our insurance broker and notified that Mark’s plan will be discontinued in January and that we must start over and pick a new plan. I’m not one to conclude that a particular year was collectively bad, but I have to say, we’ve had better years.