Saturday, June 6, 2009

As it begins

Many who read this may already know me, but for those who don't here's a brief bio. I am a 44 years old and the youngest of ten children, all living, and our parents are deceased. A 21+ year retired Army veteran, who holds a two-time title of Soldier of the Year amongst several other honors that I proudly display for my children. Obviously, a very happy mother of two beautifully talented young men ages 20 and 22. I consider myself fairly educated holding a Bachelor's degree and working on my Master's. Everything has been moving along so nicely and without incident until this past week.

On Tuesday, June 2, 2009, the nurse where I had a biopsy done, called and said the doctor was ready to talk to me, and my stomach went haywire. That feeling of dread – wow, it has never been so prevalent in my life. All I heard was, “Arla, I’m sorry to tell you that you have Invasive Ductal Carcinoma and you need to see a surgeon as quickly as possible.” I’m sure we were on the phone for four or five minutes, but I heard nothing else. I could feel me try to speak, but no words came, just tears. I lost my own mother to a mean cancer, and watching her slip away, well, it was just ugly. For me when I found out, my thoughts was oh my God, I am scared to dea….. yeah, no, my bad….. Oh my God, scare me healthy, please…. Please scare me healthy.

I’m too young for this and I feel like I’m living someone else’s life as I continue to read more information and talk to specialists. For heaven sake, I don’t even have grandchildren…

June 5, 2009 - I’m a fighter and this mountain, I WILL climb and I will be better for it. I have to. As I sit here and write my body shakes and my heart aches. I’m not cold, I’m not hot, I think I’m just afraid of what other bad news tomorrow will bring. Today, I was told that this is the bitch, the meaner aggressive kind. Yeah for me. Monday can’t get here quick enough as my phone will ring and the VA will tell me when to come in for the consult. Let the fight begin.

My older sister Sherry, damn, she must be a saint. She would probably go to the ends of the earth to help me, and yet she too must be scared. Of us 3 girls, she’s the only who hasn’t gotten this and she’s 10 years older. My personal thoughts on her safety are this – she had a breast reduction several years ago. Is it possible that doctors took out what has caused this to Pam and I? When Pam fought this 18 months ago, I thought she was strongest woman I'd ever met, and I was so proud to be her sister. Anyway, I don’t know this happens. What I do know is that my mind never sleeps anymore. I am in this to win this and I know that the more knowledge I empower myself with, the better choices I hope to make.

My little dogs, Reina and Chy, they never want to leave my side. Do they sense my fear? I think so. Having my two dogs is an absolute joy for me. I can tell them things that I know they can never share (aha!) with anyone else.

My promise to myself, working out twice a day as I have obviously isn’t the answer, but I’m sure it will give me the strength I need to conquer this. Food, well, I hope I will choose more carefully. I will admit I haven’t always done that and the Army didn’t care too much either. They gave me stuff that I don’t think my dogs would touch. But I am very grateful for the three things I did get, my (ex) husband, and my children. They taught me what love and life truly is.

I hope this blog will serve to help me deal with what comes my way in the near future, but more importantly, I hope it finds its way into someone else's home. I hope to keep this uplifting, yet, I will share both the ups and downs so as not to give more credit to this ugly cancer that grows inside me. Wish me luck.


  1. Arla,
    You are already healed! I will claim that for you when you feel you can't. You will win the fight! I will be there by your side, to remind you of that, when if ever, you feel you have no fight left. And you are not alone, as I, amoung many of your friends and family are right here for you. Always remember, the prayers of the faithful are before God Almighty and He will see you through this! And lastly, I will be a traveler with you down the road, as we take this unexpected journey. And even when our feet hurt, we will keep on walking!

  2. My dearest Arla,
    I feel honored to get to be part of your unexpected journey. However, I believe the Lord has already touched you and healed you. He walks beside you strengthening you and encouraging you. God made you the fighter or warrior that you are. He knew the things that you would endure in your life and how your life would touch others. There are many things you have overcome in your life and this is one of those things. You will be victorious! The joy of the Lord shall be your strength. I am glad you are blogging and I know this will speak to others.

  3. Arla,
    You are one of the strongest, most beautiful women we know and adore. If anyone can kick this things butt, it is you. Your life has had many journeys and this one is no different~you will be challenged but you will win. Your strong will and brave heart will give you everything you need, but if for some reason it is not enough remember you have a HUGE family and we all love you so much and are with you every step of the way.

  4. Arla,
    With tears in my eyes, I find this very hard to do because we are probably closer to each other than we have ever been. Sometimes feelings are the best unspoken. Well, I am not a saint…, but Thanks! There is no question that I WILL go to the ends of the earth to help you and I too, am very scared. You know I will be by your side throughout this difficult battle on your unexpected journey. Unfortunately, I was too far away from Pam and could not be there when she probably needed me most, too so I cannot let that happen again with you. I do not know how I have escaped this myself – only GOD knows! I will continue to pray daily for your speedy recovery and like I said the other day – GOD will not give you more than you can handle. You caught this in its infancy, so if anyone can kick it, you can!!! GOD SPEED to you my little sister….

    Love Ya, Sherry

  5. Aunt Arla,

    I love you so very very much and I know you will make it through this with no doubt in my mind. I wish I could be at your side at this time and help you as much as possible. You will be in my prayers every night and i will think about you more everyday.

    I love you, Be strong, God is with you and will take care of you. He wont take you away from this earth and all who love you.

    I love you!
    So bless it be<3

    Love You,
    Love Sammi