We all have a unique story and in that story are many chapters. A few of the chapters in my 'book' include a journey through pregnancy, breast cancer, faith and my first figure competition.
In 2010, my husband and I resolved that after 4 years of trying to conceive a second child, we were meant to be a family of 3. With the change in focus, I had accepted a lucrative job offer working in the oil sands of Northern Alberta running a concrete plant, which was my vocation at the time. During the pre-screening drug testing, the nurse had mentioned she thought I had a bladder infection and I should get it checked out before I commenced work. An odd finding as I had never had one previously, and being a doctor's daughter I knew what 'protein in the urine' could also mean. Immediately after the test, I left and purchased a pregnancy test kit from the closest Shoppers Drug Mart and sure enough, the big blue X appeared! That same night I drove the 16 hours back to Kamloops, which was our home town at the time, and little did I know that God had another plan and reason for this surprise finding.
I had felt and acknowledged the lump on the underside of my left breast, but being 29 and not having breast cancer run in my family, I really didn't pay much attention to it even though it indeed felt different than the typical 'lumpy period boobs'. During my initial dating pregnancy ultrasound, I brought it to my doctors attention and he suggested I get it looked at to ensure there wouldn't be any complications for breast feeding. Well, on with the ultrasound and immediately into biopsy I went. When I felt the coring needle poke through the hard mass, I knew.
An odd mix of peaceful calm, uncertainty and slight fear came over me with the news that it was an aggressive, fairly advanced, invasive and hormone-fed breast cancer. I am a believer of 'divine appointments' and when all 4 of my specialists and health care team became angry with the fact that I chose to keep the baby and continue with the pregnancy, even though I was told of certain death if I did not abort Luke, I knew there was a different 'plan'. All of them being colleagues and friends of my dad and family, they were only speaking from their hearts and understanding of what they knew in their professional opinion but I knew I served a Sovereign God and He had this situation.
Some of the events to follow included mastectomy surgery, 6 months of chemotherapy, hair, eye brow and lash loss, attempting to mother my first born who was 7, being a wife in a marriage that was in rough shape at the time, reading obituaries of those I sat beside during chemo appointments, embracing the unknown, prayer and petition and finally delivering Luke one month after my last round. Tired and exhausted was a slight understatement.
Fast forward a couple of years. I had a few more surgeries including a hysterectomy and I slowly began unpacking the emotions and processing the events that had occurred. Turning a bit too far to alcohol for relief, I knew I had to draw that line in the sand and make a choice to start living. I went to a couple 'meetings', hired a trainer and attempted to gain back my inner athlete. I have a background in competitive figure skating, snowboarding and soccer so step by step and with positive Slight Edge choices over the next year, I transformed my body, mind and life. Having also buried both of my birth parents, moved to a different province, worked hard to heal my marriage, endured Luke having a badly broken arm and open heart surgery only 2 months ago, continuing my education and running two businesses, the journey to my first figure competition came with it's hurdles. I stepped on stage last weekend, May 29 for my first ever show and won 2nd in Open and 3rd in Masters Figure in the INBF in Calgary, Alberta.
I love 'firsts' , I embrace change and life to the absolute fullest and although this is only a couple chapters of my life, I use every situation to grow and learn. There are no failures only lessons. I now have a thriving marriage and family and my husband is going to compete with me in the fall of this year as well. July long weekend I somehow managed to enter myself into my first 1/2 Ironman Triathlon so June is a crash course on getting my butt in the pool and on the bike.
The two scriptures I hold near and steadfast are Psalm 40 and Philippians 4:13.