My cancer diagnosis story…

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By: Deb Miller

Deb and her family.

Deb and her family.

This April, I had a suspicious mammogram at TCHC that was followed immediately by an ultrasound. Two days later I had a biopsy done at TCHC and three days later I got the results of the biopsy that showed I had triple negative breast cancer. I am so thankful for the knowledgeable staff at TCHC and how quickly they took care of me. Because this is a more aggressive type of breast cancer, the providers I work with at the Henning Clinic and my family strongly encouraged me to get a second opinion at a breast cancer center. I spent the week of April 27th in the Twin Cities with appointments at Virginia Piper Breast Center and Minnesota Oncology and started chemo the first week of May. By the time I am done, I will have a total of 16 chemo treatments, followed by surgery and possibly radiation.

“God’s Got This” is something I have always believed, and a promise that our family has clung to in the last 3-½ years. In October of 2011, our daughter-in-law Leanne was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was 26 years old and pregnant with their first child. She was a young woman with an amazing faith in God and she lived her 2-½ year cancer journey totally trusting that “God’s Got This.” God continually showed our families in countless ways that he would provide what we needed for each day of that journey. Leanne was always ready to share her faith and the promise that “God’s Got This” with those she met. The last time that Leanne was at our home was Easter, April 20, 2014. I was diagnosed this year on April 20th, which was exactly 11 months after she went to heaven on May 20th, 2014. While it seemed almost impossible that we could be going through this again so soon, I also knew that I had no better example of how to live my cancer journey than Leanne and there was no doubt, “God’s Got This”!

Deb with her co-workers wearing the t-shirts they had made for a fundraiser to help her offset her medical expenses.

Deb with her co-workers wearing the t-shirts they had made for a fundraiser to help her offset her medical expenses.

I have worked for Tri-County Health Care since 1994 at the Henning Clinic in Lab and X-ray. After my diagnosis, I found out that Amy Severson and my co-workers at the Henning Clinic had arranged a fundraiser. I showed up at work one day and they were wearing these “God’s Got This” t-shirts they had made. I can’t even put into words how special that was to me. I work with the best people and their support means the world to me. They have been with me through all the ups and downs of the last 3 ½ years and they are like my second family.

Words of wisdom to give to newly diagnosed? You will be inundated with information at a very emotional time. Take someone with you to your appointments so you have a second set of ears to listen to everything. Ask them to take notes. It’s ok to get a second opinion, you want to be as informed as possible and then choose the provider you feel the most comfortable with. For me, once my treatment plan was in place, it was very overwhelming to think about how many months all this was going to take. I do my best to take one day at a time, be thankful for the blessings of that day and with my family, friends and God by my side, I will get through this.