To Do Lists, MRI’s, Prison Yard Shanking.

I don’t know about you, but I’m the queen of “to do” lists. I have different lists for chores, business, errands, groceries…..just about everything. God is funny sometimes. As I was reading my devotional this morning (and reviewing the devotional from yesterday)- I noticed that ironically, I had the devotional book literally sitting on TOP of my weekend “to do” list. The passage that spoke to me said “Your natural preference is to plan out your day, knowing what will happen when. My preference is for you to depend on me continually, trusting me to guide you and strengthen you as needed. This is how you grow strong in weakness.” I see what you did there God 🙂

This concept is important for me especially because my personality lends itself to a LOT of questions and planning. I want to know EXACTLY what my plan is for treatment. “When am I getting my next scan, what happens if the tumor shrinks? What if it grows? Will the steroids make me gain more weight? (So shallow- but I’m just being real here). I don’t think God is asking me to be hands off in my treatment and/or not advocate for myself (and not plan to take out the trash or do my taxes). But rather, to sit back during moments of uncertainty and know that GOD is in control and that his timing is perfect timing.

Last Monday I had a breast MRI (my first one actually). When you are stage IV, they usually go straight to Pet Scans because they want to look at your whole body. I haven’t shared this with many people yet (because I didn’t want to worry everyone). But the breast MRI Monday showed a new (small) mass on my OTHER breast. (Say whaaaaat?) The original golf ball size tumor is in my left breast. What they found on Monday was a small (1cm) mass in my right breast. The doctors were even surprised. The good news is that the radiologist doesn’t think the new mass is cancer, but rather a cyst. However, since I have active cancer in the other breast, they did a biopsy yesterday just to be sure. My sweet friend (and stand in mom for the day) Lauren came with me, held my hand….and it felt more like an opportunity to get to know a new friend rather than what I was actually there for. We laughed a lot, and I didn’t cry this time! (I won’t get into the details, but I like to compare a biopsy to a prison yard shanking, just sayin!) I actually can’t take credit for the term. My husband Mark was present for my first breast biopsy back in May and that’s what HE called it after seeing the size of the tool and the method they used for the biopsy). He is one of the funniest people I know for the record- and no, he has never been to prison🙂).

I should get the results of the latest biopsy/shanking next week. We are praying that if it is the Lord’s will, it will just be a cyst! Whatever the results are- we are going to face them head on with God, our medical team, and so many prayer warriors on our side.

Since Monday was my first breast MRI, they can’t really compare the current MRI tumor size to the original ultrasound, because that would be like comparing apples to oranges. So, on Monday they did another ultrasound on both breasts. The result from Monday was “the tumor in the left breast the same size on this ultra sound now as it was on the original ultrasound BEFORE you began chemo”. Um, excuse me? I’ll be honest. When I first heard that I was sad, mad, and confused. BUT- what I am keeping in mind is that the tumor feels MUCH softer now than it did in the beginning which is a good sign! My oncologist in Dallas also explained to me that tumors don’t always shrink in length and width. They kind of “Swiss cheese” themselves……like a Death Star ⭐️:) So, long story short. We are going to trust God, trust the doctors, and stay the course. I still have 7 more chemo treatments on the original schedule, so we’ve got some more time for the tumor to respond. Honestly, if I need to slowly beat this thing down for the next decade, I’ll do just that! I’m here, prepared- physically and spiritually to do just that. God, my husband, my medical team, and the friends/family that support me and pray for me keep me going every single day.

I WAS able to get chemo on Thursday (PTL!) (Chemo Cycle 5, Day 8 which was treatment #9). My hat this week was for my good friend Emily. She always tells me “you strong like bull” 🐮 So thankful for my friends and cold cap crew!

One more update from the week. My sweet friend Bevin interviewed me for an article in Lola magazine a few weeks ago. I was shocked this week when she sent me a picture of the magazine….with Mark and I on the cover! A lot of people have been asking me where they can get a copy of Lola magazine, so I included a link below that should help out. I know I say it all the time, but Mark and I are so grateful for the love, support, and prayers.

Usual disclaimer: No, I am not selling anything 🙂


⭐️Holly Hollis Stars⭐️

p.s. I plan on blogging about my “cold caps” and why I wear frozen booties and mittens during chemo (since those are the questions that come up all the time). Stay tuned!

7 thoughts on “To Do Lists, MRI’s, Prison Yard Shanking.

  1. I spent quiet time with God this morning because this week’s political world of work had its way with me. I spent an hour reading Proverbs 8-9 and remembered Wisdom is the Creator and should guide our journey. Then, comma, I began to close my Bible and saw my Psalms note from last week regarding the importance of rest, and how the really important messages from God in the Bible come after commas (literary rest sign).

    So- silly me in all my searching for “wisdom” was reminded that God has this. I too should be still.

    I don’t even know you and feel connected to your journey. You are beautiful, intelligent, kind, and a true example of Christ’s light in the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Holly, I work for Jamie Chatterton and she forwarded your blog to me. I will be starting chemo soon. I would love to hear about your cold caps. My oncologist said they didn’t work very well. I’ve read they give you headaches because of the extreme cold. I’m curious about your experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi there, I’d be happy to call you and talk to you about the cold caps (I was planning on blogging about that at some point).

      They have worked for me so far (I’ve kept about 65-70% of my hair). I’m 9 treatments in and started chemo on May 31, 2018. I’ll tell Jamie to give you my number….and you’re welcome to call or text me anytime and I’ll give you the run down so you can decide if it is something you want to try. Thank you for reaching out and I look forward to talking to a future sister survivor:) – Holly-


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