Hope is a funny thing.  It can change so fast.  One can be hopeful for one thing, and then everything can change in an instant.  When I first began treatment for inflammatory breast cancer, 16 months ago if you can believe it, I had hope.  I hoped that the treatments would work, I hoped that all the cancer cells would be killed.  I hoped that I would survive all of the pain and suffering of the chemotherapy, surgeries, and radiation.  My hope was that I was going to go through all of these difficult treatments, and then I would be "stable" for years.  I hoped that I would only need to go in for my maintenance doses every three weeks.
     Well, as it so often happens, life changes.  In May I started having headaches.  Just one little spot that hurt in my head.  Not all the time.  But it was there, and it worried me.  I didn't tell anyone else, because I was hoping it was nothing.  In June, the pain in my hip and back began to me more sore and persistent.  In July,  along my mastectomy scar line, I began to have sores and red and swelling as the cancer was growing there again.  Needless to say, because I had placed my HOPE on "stable for years" which is what the doctor told us best case scenario, I was devastated.  This is NOT what was supposed to happen.
    So, I spent a couple of weeks quite down in the dumps.  I felt like I had lost hope.  I questioned my ability to go through chemotherapy again.  I made the mistake of searching for studies that gave prognosis for IBC with brain mets.  That made me feel even more hopeless.  I felt lost, and betrayed by my body.  I was so hopeful, and positive!!!!  How could this have happened??
    Well, I found HOPE again.  I am hoping for something different this time.  I HOPE to smile today.  I HOPE to enjoy a precious moment with one of my children.  I HOPE to take time to enjoy a beautiful creation.  I HOPE that I can be a good example to someone.  I HOPE that I can endure whatever trials Heavenly Father gives me, and endure them well.  I HOPE to have lived a righteous enough life, that when I die, I can return to my Heavenly Father.  I HOPE that my family can find the peace and comfort that I have found.  I HOPE I can still be here for as long as Heavenly Father will let me be.  I HOPE that I can endure my treatments without too many adverse side effects.  I HOPE in my Savior, Jesus Christ, because through HIM, all things are possible. 
   And to tell you the truth, since my hope has changed, I am happier.  I am enjoying the small and simple things.  I am laughing and smiling again.  I am happy.  I have HOPE. 

p.s. another reason why I am feeling happier is that I went shopping yesterday and got a new cute short wig.  The picture at the top is the new wig.  I feel so cute, and I actually like it a lot better than all of the crazy curls I had!!!!  The hair is falling out like crazy right now, but that is post for another day.

9/12/2008 12:19:49 am

You look beautiful!!!!

Denise Paulsen
9/12/2008 04:26:16 am

I just love love love your new look!! I also have IBC and I am looking for a new wig - where did you get it? I just finished radiation and my hair is so short and soft and sparse that I need a new wig cause I'm sick of my old one. You are a remarkable lady and I wish you every happiness in your day to day life and really, for what its worth, that's all any of us have and if we believe differently we are being naive - so enjoy every day that you have with your beautiful family - you are so blessed.

9/12/2008 09:09:22 am

I came upon your story when I was reading sites on the breast cancer network because my sister (age 34) had just been diagnosed with breast cancer. My mom also had breast cancer. Reading your story and seeing your wonderful pictures of your family and you have made a difference in my life. I find inspiration from reading your blog and wanted you to know that you are changing peoples lives. Your story and attitude give me hope and put things into perspective---I often read the internet too much too.

I just wanted to tell you that you are an inspiration and my family is praying for you.


p.s. I love the new hair!!!

Orli Naaman
9/13/2008 08:12:26 pm

Dear Amber,
Thank you so much for sharing. What a gift you have and how well you share it! Do you write? (as in childrens/adults books etc?) Amber, I also have b.c. and I also have all of my deep Hope in Jesus Christ, just as you do, and because of that I KNOW that it is HIS Righteousness alone that will be sufficent to lead me to and bring me into His kingdom when that moment comes. "not by works least any man should boast". I also strive to and long to lead a life that is 'holy even as He is holy' but, Oh! I want to KNOW that you also KNOW that you will enter because of His righteousness.

You are such a blessing to so many. I also 'met' you on the breast cancer discussion board and I LOVE your new wig. YOU LOOK BEAUTIFUL! Hug those little ones for all of us, and your husband, and enjoy the early autumn!

And, yes, I too am praying for you and your family.

9/15/2008 01:19:26 pm

Amber......I think of you daily and hope you know I pray that a miracle may happen in your life along with your families life. You are amazing!

stacy graupmann
9/15/2008 05:07:50 pm

stacy graupmann
9/15/2008 05:11:02 pm

Amber...Ok, try number #2 with the posting! Here I am back on your website to see how your birthday went...why? I just couldn't forget...since we share it :)! It looks like you have a ton of people that love you! What a gift in itself is that?! I too had a great birthday...just being on the same continent as my twin was a blessing!! Thanks for your candid updates....you are often thought of and prayed for. Oh, and I too agree with the comment on your wig! Beautiful! Happy Birthday :)! From another bc person to another...

9/17/2008 12:17:18 pm

Mom you are so beautiful no matter what!
Love, Bekah

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