I am Amy Wilmeth, the author of this blog. I started this blog to share how I have hope in Christ while facing treatment for breast cancer.
My Cancer Journey:
I was diagnosed in March of 2011 at the age of 31, after finding a lump in my breast, and underwent chemotherapy, multiple surgeries including a double mastectomy, and radiation treatments.
My cancer returned a second time in September of 2012, just after I found out I was pregnant with our fourth child, Asher. I again underwent three surgeries to remove as much of the cancer as possible, and then began weekly chemotherapy treatments. Another fast-growing tumor developed in February of 2013 while undergoing chemo. We began 2 new chemo treatments that kept the tumor from growing. At the end of March a new and fast growing area of cancer developed on the left side. We decided to begin Herceptin treatments, which were not approved for pregnant moms, but had shown no permanent side effects to the babies in the cases known. The Herceptin, while showing fast and good results on the cancerous areas, caused the amniotic fluid around my baby to go completely away, so our little miracle, Baby Asher, was prematurely delivered on April 17th, 2013 at 34 weeks. He was in the NICU for 40 days until his lungs could fully develop and he could breath on his own. Asher now has no lasting effects from my cancer treatments and is a very happy, healthy little baby! He is living up to his name Asher which means “happiness and joy”.
After aggressive chemotherapy treatment, scans showed me to be cancer-free in July of 2013. But in October of 2013, my cancer had returned for the 3rd time in 3 years, with areas of cancer on the right and left chest area. I underwent 3 weeks of radiation on my left side again that was very successful!
I underwent ongoing chemotherapy every 3 weeks for the areas on my right side, and saw good results for a time. My cancer would respond to treatment and shrink or go away completely, but then would start to grow again before my next scheduled treatment. In May of 2014, I began 3 weeks of radiation treatments to my right chest area while continuing my chemotherapy treatments.
In July of 2014, five new tumors grew, four in the chest area and one in the right lymph gland. We changed my chemo regimen to a new weekly drug along with my weekly Herceptin. This chemo stopped the tumors from growing!
In January 2015, my tumors began growing again, so we switched to another type of chemo which showed great results in shrinking all my cancer. By April, I only had 2 remaining small tumors left, so I underwent my 10th surgery to remove them. We were hopeful that I would be in remission again, but we received news that while we had removed those tumors, the specimens showed that there are cancer cells sprinkled throughout my tissue that cannot be seen in scans or felt as tumors. Since my breast cancer has metastasized to the skin organ, these cancer cells can be lurking anywhere I have skin. My scans also showed a new area of cancer on my back under the outer skin layer. We have again come to trust that God has a plan and reason for allowing all of this and will work all things together for good in His perfect timing.
In May 2016, I had a seizure and it was discovered that two tumors had formed in my brain. I underwent a Gamma Knife procedure to zap these two tumors and we continued on with chemo to fight back the tumors that persisted in my skin. God allowed me to be well enough, that under His leading, we moved to Ohio at the end of July. We met new doctors and looked for new treatment options with the Cleveland Clinic. Many, many doctors appointments and test and treatments ensued. The cancer again was on the move and showed up in my lungs. This caused fluid build up and of course breathing issues. However the chemo that I started showed good signs of improvement. My breathing was getting better and the scans of my lungs showed good progress. The scans of the rest of my body however, were not as good. The cancer spread to my liver, bones, and two new spots in my brain. Another Gamma Knife procedure was for two weeks after the scans were done and on the day of the procedure they did a high resolution scan of my brain and found that the 2 spots had become 18.
So at the end of November 2016, Eric and I decided to adjust our aim to quality of life left rather than quantity. We entered into hospice care and began praying diligently for a good month of time together as a family to make memories and enjoy the holiday season together.
This is Amy’s husband Eric writing now:
God answered our prayer very specifically and wonderfully. Amy had good energy through out the month of December and was able to receive and see many family and friends. God’s grace strengthened her and up held her. In the evening, January 4th, we were talking to the kids, she told them “I want whatever God wants” and right after she said those words she had another seizure. The Lord was again gracious in answering prayer. We had been diligently praying not only for a good month together but also when the time came for Amy to go home to be with the Lord, that it would be quick for her. On saturday night, Jan. 7th 2017, Amy went to be with the Lord. She was finally healed perfectly from the vicious cancer in her body.
Now I, Eric, and the kids continue this journey after cancer. I echo my sweetie’s desire through out her cancer battle and journey. I pray we can be a blessing and encouragement to others to lean on our amazing Lord and His promises no matter what the circumstances are around us!
Philippians 1:18b-20 “Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.”