a few answers

so many of you have experience with cancer… i’m so sorry.  i’m sad that you know what questions to ask.  i’m sad that you’re familiar with the tests.  i’m sad that you know the pros and cons of different treatments.  these are ideas and words that aren’t meant to be in our lives.  cancer is part of our broken world.  God is present in every part of it- He is present with us. but we are not made for this.  i’m sorry.

because you know what to ask, i feel strange about not being more forthcoming with my medical information.  it’s not about being shy or needing privacy- i’ve had babies, mammograms, biopsies, and pap smears with entire medical school classes observing (exaggeration is my therapy). i’m not shy about sharing what’s going on, but i’m not sure it’s always helpful?

you see, when i hear you asking for more information, i hear this:
“i love you, and i’m worried about you.”

“i’m afraid for you and your family.”

“i want to do something because i care about you so much.”

thank you for asking- i know you love us.

i’m not sure more details would really help.  somehow each new piece of information also adds five new questions.  one biopsy tells us that cancer is present, but not size, stage, or how far it has spread.  one scan tells us the approximate size, but also gives false results based on hormone levels.  another scan gives me a license to be radioactive- literally, a card stating that it’s okay that i’m setting off radiation alarms.  (matt called it ‘the hulk scan.’  i am not green or huge, but i’m hopeful…) 

even now, i’m waiting for 3 more tests before beginning treatment.  6 weeks into this we still don’t know as much as we would like.

so how about this for basic answers:  
we do know that there is cancer present in the right breast. 
we do know that it’s triple positive, which has good and bad points.
we do know that i will be receiving chemotherapy beginning as soon as possible.
we do know that i will have surgery after chemo is done.

and many of you now have 10 more questions because you know so much about cancer.  i’m so sorry that you know what to ask, and i’m sorry that i’m not giving you solid answers. 
but i’m not sorry, really- thank you for loving us with your questions.


4 thoughts on “a few answers

  1. Rachel, Thanks for your honesty. We think medicine has answers so we think we should ask questions. Praying for you as medicine provides what “answers” it might have and trusting you to the One who does have all the answers (and who also doesn't always share them).


  2. Thanks Rachel. And thanks to Robert J! I agree with why he says and cannot imagine what this is all like in your lives and in your day to day world, but I am glad you are our friends and that the Lord is there for you and with you and Matt and the girls and that you are journeying this ungodly road (God did not intend this in the beginning!) so honestly. Love, hugs, and prayers in abundance from Ferd and Martha 🙂


  3. Hi Rachel.
    I'm a Seattle friend of the Janous fam. Got to know your dear friend Kim these past few years.
    I hold you up to our Savior in prayer. I have the blessing of spending a couple of hours with Kim tomorrow and through her I feel the connection to you.
    Your sister in Christ – Becca


  4. Rachel–
    Your husband Matt sent me a link to your blog, & filled me in on this current season. I'm so deeply sorry to hear this news–sending hugs from Chicago. My prayers & my heart are with you as you walk through treatment & beyond. With love from an old friend–Shauna XO


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