Cancer Journey,  Me

Pathology Update

First, thank you all for the many prayers, positive thoughts, texts, messages and phone calls. I have felt so supported and loved on over the last week, and I truly appreciate it! A special thank you to my husband. He has been such a rock through this diagnosis. He’s in the midst of the busiest time of a new, demanding job, but has taken this news with poise and compassion and strength. Gosh I love him.

Earlier today I received the rest of my pathology report. While it wasn’t the specific report that my doctor suggested we hope for, after speaking with a breast cancer nurse about it (it’s nice to have family connections!), I’m feeling very happy with these results.

I will re-hash some of the details for those just tuning in: I have stage 1 invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC), and my tumor is 2 cm and considered grade 3. I also have non-invasive ductal carcinoma (DCIS) that is 9 cm (this is the calcification the surrounds the tumor, is considered stage 0 and is not worrisome to the doctors). The IDC is the main focus of this fight.

The new piece of information that I got today has to do with the receptors of my IDC (what feeds the cancer). My cancer is estrogen positive, progesterone negative and HER2/neu positive. This means that it’s being fed by hormones and the protein HER2/neu. The good news here is that there are targeted treatments for both of these receptors that are not chemotherapy. The estrogen component can be treated with a hormone therapy pill (typically taken for 5 years) and the HER2/neu can be treated with an IV medication (typically taken for 1 year). While my doctor cannot say yet what my specific treatment plan will be until all of my remaining results are in, it is encouraging to know that there are viable medical options for my scenario that are not chemo.

So here’s what’s next: I have an MRI scheduled next Wednesday and a consult with the plastic surgeon next Thursday. The following week I will receive my genetic testing results on the 8th and meet with my doctor to review the results from my MRI on the 9th. At that appointment I will learn if there is any indication that the cancer has spread to my lymph nodes and whether or not I will need chemo. If no chemo, my mastectomy will be scheduled in the weeks afterwards.

Waiting almost two weeks to really know how we’ll be treating this thing stinks. But I am encouraged by the options out there and am still finding peace through my faith. I continue to see God work through this ordeal – women scheduling mammograms; people reaching out to me about strengthening their own walk in faith. It has been truly humbling.  I believe that more good will come of this than bad, so I am excited to see how I will be used in His plan.

And perhaps God thought I needed a little distraction, because on Tuesday we had a water leak that flooded our kitchen and parts of the basement below. After emergency water remediation (AKA large airplane sounding fans throughout my kitchen and basement – which are STILL here, by the way), and a long visit by our insurance adjuster, we have been informed that in addition to new walls, ceiling and floors in parts of our basement, our main level hardwood floors have to be replaced, and our kitchen will be gutted (new cabinets, backsplash, possibly countertops). Which initially sounded awesome… until we were told that we will have to move out of our house for at least a week (but probably longer). We’re not quite sure the timing of the work, where we will go, or the timing of my surgery, but trusting that it will all work out okay.

I like to end things on a positive note, so here are my silver linings from this week: new boobs (going to make the highlight reel every time), new kitchen and a new excuse to get off the phone with telemarketers… today I was contacted by a man trying to sell me a timeshare. I told him I was not interested, and unfazed he started in on the whole “you’re not interested in vacationing every year in Hilton Head??” and without much thought I answered, “no, sorry, I’m battling cancer right now.” I have never shut up a telemarketer so fast. He answered with, “I’m so sorry, God bless you” and hung up the phone. Score. Wait, is this wrong??

For my praying friends, here are my specific prayer requests for the weeks ahead:

  • Pray for my complete healing
  • Pray for my MRI results to show that the cancer has not spread to my lymph nodes
  • Pray for continued peace and positivity for me and my family

Again, I thank you all so much for the prayers and well-wishes! I will keep you all updated as we go!



  • Fran

    And the house toooooo!! Goodness beautiful Jessica alot going on. Have been praying and will continue for you and your family, and also doctors.

  • Juanita

    Wow a lot to take in and the house too! Keep the positive attitude I am so proud of You!
    Praying for you daily,
    Love you!

  • whatwesurviveblog

    I was diagnosed in January; stage 1, IDC, 1.6cm tumor, Estrogen & Progesterone Positive, but Her2 negative. I had a double mastectomy, with no reconstruction. I was age 32 at diagnosis. I have chose a more aggressive hormonal chemotherapy; Lupron injection monthly (to shut down my ovaries), and an aromatase inhibitor (pill daily). This has a slightly lower recurrence rate than Tamoxifen. You will learn all these treatment options in your journey. It is a difficult process, and it hits you different everyday; either building you up with Faith or crushing you with fear. But, there are many of us survivors out there, its a sisterhood we never wanted to belong to, but you will find much support from all the survivors you will come across. Sending love and blessings. My advice is … stay busy, and practice self-care everyday! God Bless.

  • Judy Wright

    All things considered, fantastic news! Option & distractions are always welcomed!!! Prayers for you & your loved ones continue❤️

  • Christie McDaniel

    Praying for you and your beautiful family during this challenging time. I know our Lord and savior has great things planned for you and you will be victorious against this vicious disease. Praying for your complete healing.

  • Ericka Valles

    Hi there, you don’t know me but I️ heard about your story through the Georgia Community Photographers group and wanted to share this link and video.

    This lady below has thrived with cancer for over 10 years (hers will never go away) and she has GREAT advice for anyone who has cancer. Her story is incredible and encouraging. That’s why I️ wanted to share!

    Also, this video below I️ would imagine TJ be somewhat helpful and encouraging as well!

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