Cancer Diagnosis & Survivorship

Facing Fear

Happy October to you, my SPLENDEUR Sisters! For most of my life, this month has been marked by trips to Tanner’s (our local apple orchard / place of magical childhood nostalgia), celebrating my birthday midway through the month, and of course the visual entertainment of the changing leaves. But ever since my diagnosis of breast cancer in 2018, I am much more aware of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. That is why I am so excited to have this third and final article in my blog series coinc

When the Answer to Your Prayer is No

And then I woke up. And as the bright lights were seeping through my drowsy eyelids and I was numb from neck to hips, I heard a voice say, “It did spread to your lymph node.” My surgeon left to go get my family and I was left realizing reality was in opposition to my desire. Anger and tears consumed me in an instant. Waves of emotion, partially due to the anesthesia and partially due to months of hope unrealized, crashed into me. And in those waves, I became swallowed by the whale. The next t

Patient Feature

Like most people diagnosed with cancer, it can feel like my story starts on the day I was diagnosed – December 18, 2018. Or it can feel like I should be known by the type of cancer the biopsy results indicated – invasive ductal carcinoma with lymph node involvement. When I look in the mirror, I am tempted to only see the length of my scar – 6.5 inches due to a modified radical single mastectomy. Any stranger who wandered into my home would see multiple bouquets of flowers from co-workers, a kitc

What Galatians 4 and a Cancer Diagnosis Have in Common

“I’m so sorry to tell you this,” said the doctor sitting next to me on December 18, 2018, “but it is breast cancer.” I was 27-years-old when I was diagnosed with a type of cancer much more commonly found in older women. While it would have been emotionally appropriate for me to be angry, I don’t remember feeling that way initially. I distinctly remember being desperate to understand why the Lord was allowing this to happen. I didn’t suddenly doubt His goodness or sovereignty, but my mind couldn

5 Things That Helped Me After My Mastectomy

5 Things That Helped Me After My Mastectomy Sometimes bad things happen. Sometimes you are 27-years-old and notice a lump in your breast. Sometimes a doctor tells you right before Christmas that your biopsy results show cancer: invasive ductal carcinoma. Sometimes you need surgery and chemo and radiation and hormone blockers to hopefully get every last cell, prevent recurrence, and make it to 30 like you always assumed you would. And yet, I believe myself to be uniquely blessed – especially wh

The First 30 Days of My Cancer Diagnosis

Kelsie Barnhart, 27 years old, was recently diagnosed with breast cancer only days before Christmas. In this blog, she candidly shares the first 30 days of her cancer diagnosis with incredible wisdom, strength and resilience beyond her years. The first 30 days of Kelsie's cancer diagnosis "I can count on one hand the number of times I felt like I was dreaming even when I was awake: • None The first time a boy I liked held my hand. • None The time I quit a job and walked out in front of the who