Decision made, date set

Today we made our decisions on what to do. I’ll be having a double mastectomy with immediate reconstructive surgery. The start of this long process will begin on July 23. This is when the first surgery will be done. The doctor informed us today that he is 90% certain that I will have 6 months of chemotherapy; the part he was not sure about was if it would be once a week or once every three weeks. This news was a real slap in the face. I’ve been praying that I don’t have to have chemo, but one of the tests had a high level which indicates the cancer is aggressive. Their treatment for this is chemo.

I have to confess that I’m so upset about all of this. I really just want to crawl into a hole and wait for this to end. It feels like life is out of control and nothing good is coming. I want someone to wake me up when this is over. I’ve always heard “fight or flight”; I guess I’m definitely “flight”. I really want to get over feeling so beat up and so sorry for myself. I shouldn’t complain, I know there are so many people with things so much bigger and harder to deal with. I should be glad that it hasn’t spread, that I don’t have the breast cancer gene, that I should survive this… but I’m hung up on all the things that are coming. I really need to learn how to get over myself and deal with this, but I really don’t know how. I’m hoping that something will click and the switch will flip and I’ll be ready to fight.

— Holly Thompson


  1. Hi Holly, Have you looked into any sort of support groups for cancer patients? Maybe speaking to others who are currently, or who have gone through it, will help ease you through the journey. Talking to loved ones is always helpful, but talking to someone who has been through it will give you different insights and they have a different understanding of what you’re feeliing than even the closest friend with the best of intentions.

    I have recently become befriended by an older lady who loves to call herself my second mom. She has gone through a single mastectomy with no reconstruction. She doesn’t know about that procedure, but said the mastectomy itself was not as bad as she expected it to be. She didn’t even need to take aspirin after! Of course it may different for everyone, but it may be good to hear what others say. Good luck ( I know you won’t really need it!!) and I’ll be anxiously waiting to hear the next chapter.

  2. Holly, I really don’t know what to say to make it better or make you want to fight. We are praying for you and I know that all the strength you need to face whatever is ahead is found in the Lord. I faced being told that my tumor was cancer, I was told that I would have to have surgery and that I would have to take a radioactive iodine pill to kill any cancer cells that might be left. He got it early and was able to remove all the cancer, I did not have have chemo. There is where my situation changes from yours. I just know the feeling of being told that I had cancer in my body and for me I just wanted it out. My surgery is not anything like what you are faceing so I can’t relate. I just know that with the prayers of my family and my church family and friends, I made it through with the peace that only God can give. God is good, He will see you through this. The Holly that I see in all your pictures who has been to so many places is a fighter and I know that somewhere down deep that fighting spirit is alive and well. You will make it through this to hike another day. Love and Prayers are coming your way.

  3. Holly, our prayers are with you. As it’s already been said, God is good and He loves you. He will give you the strength you need to defeat this.

    I mentioned in a previous post that my aunt went through this a few years ago. I’ve spoken with her and she offered to meet and talk with you if you’d like. Just say the word.

    The date is set and the sooner the journey starts, the sooner it’s over. You’re going to do great!

  4. We are praying and know that you have the fight in you. It will come out when you need it. We are upset as well because this has happened but God is good all the time and He will lead you through. We will do whatever it takes to be of help to you and Dan.

  5. Holly,
    I know you feel like you are in a hole, but please be assured that several of us are in there with you. Janet and I love you more than our words can describe. God is bringing Dan and you through this “dark night of the soul” and He is holding both of you in the palm of His hand.

  6. Holly and Dan:

    Do you remember us? “Uncle Ron” is a clue. Feel really awful about being out of touch this long.

    But I wanted to share this with you:

    Go and read about a good friend of ours, and her daughter Gabe. They are amazing people who have been on a similar journey. They are inspiring survivors, as you, Holly, will be.

    Our best, and our prayers, Ron & Ann

  7. Holly, I have no idea if you are ready or able to read the stories of others yet. The Neill cousins have been catching each other up on your situation.

    My father, Ron, asked us to share this with you:
    “Please share this with Holly and Dan:

    …I won’t preview her (and Gabe’s) story too much. Just want to observe that she is a real survivor, an inspiration and a dear person.

    Note the links at the bottom left of the page I’ve sent above; they will open up the series she wrote about Gabe and family.


  8. Holly,
    Thanks for keeping us posted…I will continue to pray for you and your family along with all the doctors that will be working with you…I can’t imagine how you are feeling, but know that God is using you even now as you post blogs…this is all part of His plan for you to glorify Him and I believe He is going to heal you…stay strong and I don’t think you are in “flight” mode…you’re human…I feel like you have a lot of “fight” in you. Keep us posted.

  9. Holly,
    You are so blessed to have so many people praying for you & supporting you. You are stronger than what you think. Remember, God never gives us more than we can handle. You & Dan are in my prayers.

  10. Dear Holly,
    This is Joy Andrews. My husband, Chad, works with Dan at Claris. I just read Dan’s post on Facebook, and I am so grieved for you. My heart aches for your fear and pain. I will be praying for peace during this trial.
    I would love to help encourage you with meals and friendship during your chemo. I know it can be so exhausting and discouraging.
    God’s Servant,


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