Click For Hope

Marriage

When Cancer hits home (Part 1)

Cancer, Family, Marriage, Clickforhope, Breast CancerJasmine Lopez1 Comment
clickforhope give back cancer story

Please share your story:

Early last year my husband was diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma.  As a family we were devastated.  We have two small children & a lot going on in our busy lives already, taking on cancer treatment was going to be a hefty task & we clearly worried about the impact it may have on our children.  Thankfully he handled treatment well with minimal side effects & we were able to get through without ever saying the dreaded “C” word to our kids who were two & four at the time.  He was in remission as of August of 2015 & we grew stronger from the process.  I believe now, that it was God’s way of preparing us for my cancer.

I noticed a lump in my left breast in November of 2015.  But after all that my family had just been through, I wanted them to get through the holidays stress free so I opted not to call my physician until January.  A decision I later worried may cost me my life.  In February I was diagnosed with Stage 2B Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.  My surgeon estimated the tumor had been growing for approximately two years & treatment needed to start ASAP.  

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I had bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction (tram flap) in March.  I did 8 rounds of chemotherapy, starting in April & completed that in August.  Following chemo, I completed 33 rounds of radiation.  I’ll be on hormone therapy for ten years going forward & have one surgery remaining to complete reconstruction which I am safely waiting until next year to tackle.

Meanwhile, while I was going through chemo my husband became concerned that his lymphoma may be returning. Seriously, right??  Following some tests, his doctors confirmed that he had relapsed or possibly the cancer was never fully gone in the first place as we had thought.  He began treatment again this month (Oct) & will continue treatment for the next three years. 

It’s been a crazy long road & certainly a lot more than we had ever anticipated when it all began last year.  Cancer has given us a plethora of challenges, but it’s made us stronger & we appreciate life & one another now more than ever.  Most would consider us unlucky to both have gotten cancer, we would say that we’re blessed to have one another for support as we face these battles together.

 How has your story shaped who you are today?:

It's changed my life completely! I don't spend time now worrying about the future or things I can't change, it's wasted energy. Instead I focus on today & making it the best it can be. My focus is on positivity & the things that I can work to change for the better. 

 What compelled you to share your story on our blog?: 

Through it all my focus has been to remain positive.  I was encouraged by my friends, family & even my physicians to share my story, so I started a website, positivelysurvivingcancer.com. It's been amazing so far & I've had so many people reach out to me personally through the blog & Instagram. It's just so wonderful to take something so terrible & make something positive out of it. Stress is an ugly thing that can really slow down our body’s healing process, so it important to train ourselves to focus on positivity. I also really believe that if we look our best, we feel our best. Feeling our best is so important through cancer treatment because it allows our bodies to fight that much harder!  I would love to help continue to spread the word about my site & help more fellow cancer warriors out there as they make their way through this journey.

 What encouraging words would you give to someone who shares a similar story?:

Take it all one day at a time, one question at a time. Be strong & positive, don't let worries or negative thoughts take your strength!

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My marriage story...

Forgiveness, Marriage, Clickforhope, My StoryJasmine LopezComment

It's crazy to think it's been 10yrs of marriage, plus 5yrs of dating. I met Jeremy when I was 17 at his mom's wedding. How I got to his mom's backyard hawaiian themed wedding baffles me, but looking back it's so cool to see how God connects the dots. I had just come back from Israel, which was yet another life changing experience for me. I was staying with a friend for the weekend, and her dad was officiating the wedding. I was a new budding photographer so I carried my camera with me everywhere and before I knew it, I was being handed film and told to photograph the wedding. Talk about pressure!

I vowed to never photograph a wedding again haha! If you know anything about me, I've been a portrait and wedding photographer for the last 7yrs. So I guess it was meant to be.

Anyways back to my marriage story.

We had no positive example of marriage but knew deep down inside that marriage is a covenant never to be broken. What we weren't prepared for was the everyday life of marriage. The constant renewal of "today I chose to be committed and the best version of me." I mean we were in our twenties and barely knew who we were.

For the first 7yrs of marriage I tried everything I could to change him. I thought I could make him better, but when I didn't see results I started blaming and holding resentment towards him. On top of that, all the loss we had experienced: a baby, a house, all of our possessions due to a flood and mold, a failed attempt being self employed, hopeless dreams, our community, our friends it grew weary on us, and I only allowed it to fester and grow us further apart.

Then there was a day, that day we both said we were done. We were tired of the married life, constantly fighting, and unforgiveness was the driving force. Prayer meeting after prayer meeting, I kept hearing that I had to forgive. In order to see change, I had to first be the change. It didn't sound fair, "Why me?" as I had a tantrum with God. It wasn't right. So slowly I began to allow God to soften my heart. Baby step after baby step, I asked God to change my heart. To help me to fall in love with my hubby all over again. For the new person he was. Not for who he was then, or for all the things I charged him with. As I changed, he changed. As I loved more, he loved me more. As I humbled myself, he humbled himself.

We've learned how to fight well, we've set healthy boundaries. We've learned to forgive quickly. To approach each other with curiosity verses assumption. We've learned to reset when old patterns seek to come back.

It hasn't been easy by any means, but I'm now in a season where I'm passionate about wifehood. I don't want to be soley focused on motherhood that I lose my identity as a wife. I desire to learn and seek what it means to be a wife who serves and loves her husband with her whole heart.