Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Miracles - Things I don't want to forget

I started this blog about a week after I was diagnosed and so there are a few things missing that need to be written down about that week.

Friday -  Found out I had breast cancer because Talmage made all of the appointments for me to have an ultra sound and a biopsy.  If it hadn't have been for him 6 months from now could have been a totally different story.  I am thankful for a good, inspired husband.  He quite literally saved my life.  We were able to get an appointment with the surgeon for Monday.  I was so thankful that we could get in so quickly.
That day was a rollar coaster of emotions and we got very little sleep, but exchanged a lot of tender hugs.

Saturday - We went boating with the family for Collin and all the family August birthdays.  I tried to put on a happy face.  It was hard.  I think it was just as hard for Talmage. Again, lots of tender hugs.  There came an opportunity to share this information with one of my sister-in-laws.  It was actually a relief to talk about it.  I kept staring at the mountains.  I realized that God made those magestic, beautiful mountains and if He could do that, if it was right, he could heal me.  I believed he would.
Late that night we pulled the kids together and told them. Talmage first asked them what they knew of cancer and then explained more about it.  He told them that Mommy has a small cancer.  I think they were afraid.  "Cancer" is such a scary word.   We prayed together, started a fast together and had a good cry together.  It was actually beautiful.  I felt like we were all so united and we would get through this together.

Sunday - We got up and went to church.  I nearly cried all through Sacrament meeting.  Sometimes I felt really strong and then other times there was nothing I could do to hold back my emotions.  A member of the Relief Society Presidency talked to me afterwards and I told her about it.  I think "shock" is the only way to describe it.  By now, I had composed myself again.
During primary, my son got up to say the monthly theme and then say a prayer.  When he said the theme, I had such a sweet, warm feeling come across me.  He said, "Jesus Christ is the Son of God and He is a God of Miracles".  It was a very profound moment to me and one that I will cherish. 
Well, the word got out and we have received an outpouring of love, support and prayers from so many people ever since.
That night we went to my parents house to celebrate my dad's birthday.  Later, my dad and Talmage gave me a Priesthood blessing.  Again, I felt peace.

Monday - Talmage and I went to meet with the Surgeon.  Before we met, Talmage had another Tech do a quick ultrasound on me to see if we could see any other tumors up in the axillary area.  I think of everything, this was what I was most nervous about.  We prayed fervently that the cancer was contained and had not spread.  Thankfully, nothing apparent showed up.  While meeting with the surgeon we scheduled an operating time.  That very Wednesday - just two days later.  I was SO happy to get in so soon.  Especially as I was 8 months pregnant. 
For the first couple of days I completely ignored my left breast.  I loathed it!  I didn't want to give it any more energy than what I already had.  Then something hit me.  I had a very strong impression that instead of resenting it, I needed to love and accept it.  I forgave the situation and my heart felt better.

Tuesday - I began to notice simple pleasures.  A butterfly on a flower, the sun coming through the windows, my children laughing, a Sunflower reaching up to the light.  This inspired me and I felt closer to Heavenly Father.  It was mine and Talmage's 16th anniversary.  We went to the temple to do sealings.  It was just what we both needed.  I thought I would be an emotional wreck through all of it, but not one tear fell.  I was happy and felt such strength from both sides of the veil.  This is a moment that I will always cherish as well.

Wednesday - The day of surgery.  My sister-in-law came to stay with our children.  It was such an answer to our prayers.  I didn't worry for a second that they weren't being loved.  She also had just recently had a lumpectomy and so she was able to comfort and explain about the surgery.  The kids had a great day and even got all their homework done! :)
The greatest news of the surgery is that the cancer had NOT spread.  I was SOOO thankful!

Thursday - Rested and toughed it through contractions that had started since the surgery.  Prayed a lot.

Friday - For our anniversary, before all of this came up, we had planned on going to Park City to celebrate.  We decided to still go and just relax and sleep since we knew our baby would be on her way shortly.  It was quite and peaceful.  Thanks to Grandma for staying with the kids ... especially since we are trying to potty train ;)

Saturday - LOTS of contrations.  I decided that although I had a month left, I needed to pack my bags.  Thankfully I listened to that prompting because that night .... actually Sunday morning at 3:00 am. my water broke.  We were going to have a baby!  Here is the post from my personal blog about the birth:

Wow! What an intense couple of weeks it has been. After learning that I had breast cancer, I was scheduled for surgery immediately. I still had a month before the baby was due, but right after the surgery, my braxton hicks turned into real contractions. Surgery was on a Wednesday and by Saturday, I was miserable. The contractions were strong, but too spread apart to justify going to the hospital. I kept praying that either they would stop or get close together so that I could go to the hospital. At the same time, in the back of my mind, I knew that this was early for the baby and I wanted to make sure she would be alright.

Around 3:00 am Sunday morning, during a hefty contraction, my water broke ... or exploded would be more accurate. Aaaahhhh. We were going to have a baby. I was nervous and relieved all at once.
We got to the hospital, checked in, and then I labored for about an hour while we waited for the Anesthesiologist - who happened to be our neighbor. The epidural was perfect and FINALLY I could sleep. I felt like it had been months since I had gotten any real rest. It was wonderful!
(I just don't know how the pioneers did it!)
Because I was so early, they had to treat me with Penicillin for 4 hours before they could turn on the Pitosin. Once all of the penicillin was in, they turned up the Pit and at 8:01 am, our sweet little Emma Jane was born. She is perfect and a true miracle in everyway possible. She weighed 7 lbs. and was 19 1/2" long. We were astonished at her size for being 4 weeks early. We truly feel that Heavenly Father prepared her so that she would be ready to come early because of all that is going on. We are so grateful that everything went so beautifully.

Emma Jane Shill

Born August 29, 2010

7 lbs.

19 1/2" long

Our little Emma is a miracle. We are so relieved that she got here safely.  My family is my greatest motivation for fighting this disease. 

I can't thank everybody enough for all the prayers, fasting, support and love that you have sent our way.  We have been truly blessed and I pray that the Lord will bless each of you for your kindness.

My three motos that I am learning through this process:

1. Faith not Fear
2. Enjoy the Journey
3. Patience


  1. Beautiful baby girl! Danae, Your Sister Dina is a dear friend of mine from Texas. She has kept me posted about your journey. You are having prayers sent your way from all over the world as I now live in Canada. Your blog brings tears streaming down my face. Bless you and your sweet family.

  2. Stacey - Thank you so much! I will gladly accept your prayers. Dina can not say enough about you. Thank you for being such a great friend to her - especially through the hard times. I know you were a great source of strength for her. Thanks again.