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Nature... News... Now what? — suzanne-mcrae.com

Nature… News… Now what?

I have been really pleased with how well I have been healing since my surgery last month. This week I met with my surgeon for the pathology results. This took place on Tuesday, almost a month after the surgery. It was a long wait, to hear back what the findings were from the tumour and from the few lymph nodes that were taken out.

I felt really positive and upbeat about everything since before surgery even. I believed that the surgeon would explain the results and that the next step would be to send me to oncology at the cancer centre to hear about how the best way for me to go ahead from there would be according to what they know. The one concern I had, but I prayed about would be that there would be no cancer in any of those lymph nodes. I truly felt that my next step would be to go and listen to the oncology team, hear them out. And also continue to explore elsewhere in the world of alternative medicine, energy healing, vibrational medicine etc. I had it figured out. I knew where things were going and I felt my biggest decisions would be to choose whether to do radiation or not, or if I did then what other alternative healing modalities would help me through that if I went that way. I wasn’t convinced about the radiation thing that had been brought up since my diagnosis.

I had it all planned out in my mind… what I wanted, and how I saw it happening.

Well the day before I met with the surgeon my mood changed, boy did I get cranky in a hurry, and anxiety settled in. I felt so pissed off. It took me a while to realize that underneath that tough exterior I was terrified of the news that was coming the next day. All the what if’s began to surface. By the next morning with lots of prayers and EFT tapping all of a sudden it was like something inside of me was pushing all that tension, fears and crankiness right up and out of me. I felt that replaced with complete calmness and feelings of being very much at peace. I drove myself to the hospital where I met up with my husband, he had to work that morning. I prayed all the way there, over half an hour drive. I felt confident and ready. Let’s do this!!

We walked in the hospital together. I was still experiencing symptoms of a cold/flu that I’d had for the past 10 days or so and still had the odd coughing fit, so I put on a mask so not to spread anything around.

The whole time with the surgeon I was battling with the mask, I was having a hard time breathing. I felt suffocated. Then as soon as I put my reading glasses so I could see what I was writing, they would fog up and I couldn’t see anything. My brain felt so foggy too. I had such a hard time focusing. Nothing wanted to sink in. I took notes, but everything she was saying was bouncing off my head. I did recognize that the surgeon sat down this time to talk with me. That was nice of her I thought.

She examined my incisions, and she was pleased with how well things had healed on the outside. Then she began telling us the results. She said, unfortunately you are going to have to come back for more surgery. I thought surgery? That hadn’t even crossed my mind. How come it hadn’t crossed my mind? One of the margins where the tumour was removed, was positive. It had cancer cells right where she had cut, meaning that probably there are cancerous cells left behind. My glasses began fogging up more… and I began wresting with that mask I was wearing. I just wanted to grab everything and toss it across the room. At that point I could have gone running out of there, but the doctor sat right into the doorway. It wasn’t an option. I couldn’t run out of the room… or away from the news I was getting… nor away from the cancer.

Then she told me that I have HER2-neg and ER/PR negative molecular markers. I won’t try explaining it because I don’t understand it well enough, yet. But I’m sure I’ll be learning more about that too. I was told that this can be treated with medication. Again this was one that I was hoping would not be the case. Two down, next what was coming?

Then she told me that at surgery three lymph nodes were removed instead of just two in my armpit. And that unfortunately one of the lymph nodes showed that it had .6 cm of cancerous cells in it. By then I was speechless. Come on! Where’s all the good news that I was expecting? I had place my order. Where was it? I still had that foggy glass thing happening and had a hard time breathing.


Like at diagnosis in mid-July, I wanted to throw it back. I never asked for cancer. I didn’t want anyone telling me this is what was happening. I didn’t want to hear what I heard just this week either. I knew this wasn’t a game of hot-potato, throw it at the person next to you and hope someone else wants to catch it and take it from you. This wasn’t a game. This was no fun.

I hadn’t gone there to hear what I didn’t want to hear… I had gone there to hear what I wanted to hear. All of a sudden everything felt stripped away from me, especially the control I thought I had. I didn’t feel so much in the driver’s seat anymore, at least not in those moments. That’s when I realized that I had absolutely no control over what this cancer was choosing to do in my body, or what news the medical field needed to deliver to me. Painful.

It felt crazy when I realized that I was still experiencing feelings of being so calm and at peace deep down. But it was all happening while it was mixed up with all these other not so pleasant emotions. But the peace and calmness I noticed were what was most prominent for me that whole day. That told me that amidst being stuck in all this chaos and uncertainties again, I could still remain in the eye of the storm where complete peace and calm existed and that all was ok in that moment with me and that was all that really mattered.

I told her I couldn’t make a decision right there and then. I need time to think this through. She agreed. She knows by now that this is how I process things.

We left the hospital. I drove. We had to go to her office so I could ask her secretary to give me copies of the results. I felt like I was back in my body and able to breathe again. I was a bit shocked, but nothing like at diagnosis in July.

It was a beautiful afternoon, so I told my husband that on our way back home I wanted to stop at a nature trail. I had brought walking shoes to go spend time out in nature. I needed to go for a fast walk to shake off some of what I was feeling. He agreed that we both needed to be in nature right now. I could see the weight of the world weighing on his shoulders. Damn!! That hurts even more than knowing what I may need to go through. I’m faced to deal with this, yet I was finding myself feeling so guilty for what I am putting my loved ones through… my husband, my kids, my parents, my sister, my brothers… my friends everyone that I know that cares about me. I see it and feel the pain they feel, and their worries for me breaks my heart… yet I’m the one in all of this that must do so much to find my way through. It’s all so unfair.

We spent an hour in the forest. I took his work cell phone and took photos. It felt so good to connect with nature, and to be able to take photos of what this world is all about… a world that’s filled with so much beauty. It helped me forget about the appointment we had just walked out of and allowed me to let go momentarily of the information that I had just been given that was still floating around.

Nature... News... Now what?

The path that turns… and you have no clue where it’s going to take you.

Nature... News... Now what?

Nature... News... Now What?

These trees… stunning colours… and that sky, a beautiful blue.

Nature... News... Now What?

Nature... News... Now What?

Nature... News... Now What?

There’s colour, growth amidst all that’s dying at this time of the year… like the layers of ourselves that get peeled away, that must die in order for the new to grow. Is that what this cancer thing is trying to teach me? That I must let go, allow things to die, so that I can grow into new ways of being? Uh!! I believe so.

Nature... News... Now What?

Nature... News... Now what?

Behind the darkness, there’s light. When we don’t think there ever is… just when we turn the next corner sometimes by surprise, there it is!! Just like this path, once through the darkness of the forest, a light seen in the far distance. Follow the light… see where it wants to lead me.

Nature... News... Now what?

The calmness of the sounds of this little stream. I could have stayed there until darkness settled into the forest. Light shining through, movement, things flowing and always changing, sometimes very fast… just like in life… like with a cancer diagnosis. Just when you think you have something figured out, something shifts and changes, and it changes everything you thought you knew. It sometimes changes the direction of your life as you knew it in a split second. This little water stream taught me… be still… allow things to move through and around me. Don’t block anything. Be flexible. Notice. Listen.

Nature... News... Now what?

I was trying to capture my shadow in a water puddle without dropping my husband’s cell phone in the water. 🙂

Nature... News... Now what?

This photo reminds me of life… even when there’s lots of mud and murkiness going on, there’s always beauty being reflected back for us to see.

Nature... News... Now what?

Nature... News... Now what?

This guy, the one that has stood by me for so long… his head hangs down… he’s feeling so much pain. There’s so much about our family’s situation, each of our lives and each of our healths are affected in several different ways right now… all of it is weighs down so heavy on him. I worry. I worry so much that he’s being crushed beyond repair right now. That the weight will knock him down. We both are so exhausted, afraid and feeling the incredible challenges in our lives that just don’t seem to want to slow down or pause for a moment… we can barely stand up from so much exhaustion… and even if we can’t properly lean on each other like we need to right now, we do and at times our arms too limp to hug each other tight even, through tears streaming down our faces some days … he always tells me “we’re going to make it through this together”.

News... Nature... Now what?

Alone… and yet somehow together we are both finding our way back home. Trusting that God has a plan for us with everything we are living. But we ask what? And get no clues. All we can do is take a step, and try to go in the right direction and continue praying that we be lead to the next step, and the next. I keep asking that we be supported to do the work we came to do… whatever that may be. And that the weight be lifted and carried for us when we are too tired, so we don’t have to carry it all alone through life.

So for me… I have taken a huge brave step forward in just sharing this part of my journey. It’s so personal. It’s so painful. I need support. So for me… the next step is making a decision about surgery vs no surgery. The rest of what I was told this week is to be dealt with later. Right now that is the next closest step that I must take and that is where my focus must be. I will be making an informed decision. It pains me to no end to know that this decision is mine alone, no one can answer it for me. It’s not clear yet, at all what that will be. So I have asked to be referred to a team at the cancer clinic to help answer more of my questions and then I will sit quiet with that and allow the answer to come. That should happen in a few more weeks. Everything takes time. God is definitely being invited to join me… because I know that I cannot do any of this without His love and guidance.

Thank you for caring enough about me enough to read my long blog posts about my journey through cancer. And to those that are closest to me, family and friends… I’m so sorry that you have to hear my latest news this way. But please know that I just don’t have the time or energy (and neither does my family) to call each person individually, there’s just too much that’s happening in my lives right now. xoxo

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  1. Hugs. Just hugs. And remember you’re not alone, Suzanne. xoxoxo

  2. Dawn Conery says:

    Dear Suzanne, I hear your pain, frustration and fears. So much to bear. I also hear your strength, your love and your vision and your closeness with God. You are an inspiration to so many with your story and your words. Sending you many hugs and healing prayers.

    You are not alone, love you brave woman <3

  3. Big hug Suzanne!

  4. Mary Dowdy says:

    My beautiful cousin,
    PRAYERS, PRAYERS AND MORE PRAYERS are going out your way!
    You will make the best decisions that you have to make at this point in time.
    My arms and God’s arms are around you giving you the necessary support that you need.
    I love you Cousine.

    • Denise Sabourin says:

      Love Mary’s words… “You will make the best decisions that you have to make at this point in time”. She absolutely right. It will become clear to you and you will know. Don’t be afraid to ask for support. You have lots of friends and family surrounding you. Sending you love and healing. 💚💚💚

  5. Ginette Sabourin says:

    Suzanne, you are not alone. You are such a brave, strong woman. My thoughts and prayers are with you. xo

  6. Gabriella says:

    Continued prayers for healing … you are a beacon of light to all of us. This post is just so beautiful. I don’t even know how you managed to put the thoughts together so coherently and so beautifully. I love your stream analogy. I read it 3x.


  7. Holding you, and all your family, with love in my heart.
    Deborah Weber recently posted..Pumpkin GirlMy Profile

  8. Barbara Michel says:

    Dear Suzanne,
    It’s amazing how much your story reminds me of mine, even though much of the memory is dimmed in 13 yrs. I truly undersand the emotional roller coaster you’re on!! Just know you WILL get through this; it is one step a a time. I had the shock of needing a 2nd surgery to get clean margins as well – forgive my boldness here – this is mandatory to get all the known cancer removed from the body! Then you can consider ALL the adjuvant therapy options you want once you understand your pathology and the statistics involved. Keep feeling all the feelings and trusting in your higher wisdom to guide you…I am continuing to hold the vision of you as healed and whole! XO

  9. Sending much love and peace your way Suzanne. Infinite wisdom and guidance are here for you, I’m sure of it. xo Laly

  10. Thank you to each and everyone of you who have sent me so much love, prayers and positive healing vibes. Its truly made a world of difference for me on this latest part of my journey. Blessings to each of you and I appreciate you so much!!

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