Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Next Step...

We have held off on another update until we were able to meet with our newest medical professional today.  He is an oncologist and we like him a lot.  We were honest with him that we tend to judge a practice, office, and staff in about the first 10 or 15 seconds of meeting them.  This doctor and his nurse passed with flying colors.  We continue to believe the Lord is going before us as we walk out each next step of this journey and meet each next medical professional. 


Today’s meeting with our oncologist confirmed that Traci will indeed need chemotherapy.  We also learned that while we had originally thought Traci’s breast cancer was late Stage 0 or early Stage 1, hers is actually Stage 2.  Therefore, chemotherapy is needed now just to be sure.  One very comforting thing the doctor told us today was “Traci, you’re going to be fine.”  That was very reassuring.  He also said that we’ve got some work to do before we get to fine but she will be ok.  We’ve lived through some short term challenges before knowing that better days are ahead.  We find great comfort in knowing that experiences of the past have equipped us well for the challenges ahead. 


As Traci is still healing from the reconstructive surgery of September 7, she is not yet ready to begin chemo.  Therefore, we will likely begin in mid-October with 6 scheduled sessions followed by 3 weeks in between.  That puts us into mid-February before all of that will behind us.  After chemo is finished, we will consult with a radiation oncologist about what protocol we will likely have to follow with them.  That’s one of those things that will just have to wait to be thought about or dealt with.  Each day has enough struggles of its own you know.


On Friday we will visit our plastic surgeon for the first time since Traci’s surgery and release from the hospital last week.  It is our hope that at least 3 and maybe 4 of the 6 drains she has now will be removed.  That will mean a greater sense of freedom and normalcy for her as it relates to mobility especially. 


And now a quote from the star of this show, Traci Browne:  “While I am not overjoyed at having to do chemo I now understand why I have to do it.  The good news is that there is a concrete beginning and a concrete ending to it.  That gives us a game plan that brings me peace.  The next steps in front of us are hopeful, clear, and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Our oncologist’s wife is a 10 year breast cancer survivor so that gave me great hope that being under his care is a good place to be.  No, it was not the news I was looking for but I am encouraged that this will take care of any residual “stuff” that might later lead to more cancer.  Thank you to everyone for your prayers, love, and support.  We have peace!”


What more can I say?  We do have peace.  We do have a game plan.  We do have hope.  We do have many, many friends who have been down this road and conquered the beast we now are fighting.  Most of all, we have this big beautiful God going before us in all things.  He fills us with what we need when we need it.  He guides us down dark paths making just enough light for us to see the next steps.  For him we are grateful.


Thank you again for all of the over top acts of kindness you have shown me and my family during the last few weeks.  We are empowered and encouraged as a result of every good deed and ready to take on the next step.


We love you all,

Rob, Traci and the Browne Kids 4



Rob Browne

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