Life between Facebook Posts

2020 Turning Over a New Leaf

Leaf Study by Kristye Addison Dudley

This past year we were pretty busy. We started the year enjoying our extended assignment in overseas traveling and planning for our move. Then in February we started to manage life during a strict Italian Pandemic lockdown that lasted until June! In June, we were moving our family from our 5 year overseas adventure stateside. In July we were navigating unpacking and establishing a home in Ohio, Mark started his residency, and he learned to fly. By August, the kids and I embarked on our homeschool journey. When September arrived, we felt like we had finally found our groove.

Then Wednesday, September 30, I felt a pain in my lower abdomen. Thursday the pain was in my lower left abdomen and pain went down my leg. I took it easy that day, but by evening we knew something was wrong. Early Friday morning October 2, I went to the ER. The family dropped me off, they couldn’t enter because of COVID.

I was given lots of pain medication and went through a number of scans and tests.

When the results came back, I had a 10cm mass in my uterus that needed to be removed.

Monday October 5, I had a partial hysterectomy to remove the mass. It was so big the nurses said I should name it. Her name was Cindy (for the centimeters).

While at home recovering, Mark became the main homeschool teacher and everything else for the first couple of weeks. The kids made me cards and I couldn’t be more grateful to the family and friends who were supporting us.

I started feeling better, and was ready to prepare for Fall fun, Halloween, and getting back to life. 4 weeks after surgery, while I was still healing, I got  the results for the biopsied mass. It’s cancerous, a stage 1 endometrial stromal sarcoma. I am immediately told I will need another surgery soon.

I was crushed. Not only was it cancer, but I was so tired of being tired. The recovery from the hysterectomy was slow and painful. I did some research, it’s a very rare cancer and my odds were good. The online info was overwhelming, and there wasn’t anything I could do about the pathology, so that was the last day I did any Google doctoring.

That day, I cried a lot, we prayed, we planned, and in our on way, we moved on with the faith that God had already decided how this would play out. We kept making memories with the kids, I made Halloween consumes, we did Fall crafts, continued homeschooling, and just tried to enjoy life.

December 7, I had a full hysterectomy. This surgery was done with a robot and the recovery has been much faster. We had a wonderful Christmas together. I was able to dance into 2021 with my family and look back over a year so full of blessings that I can’t name them all.

So between all of my great Facebook posts, there were some really hard days that I wasn’t ready to share. The one thing I do know, I appreciate those of you who pray for your friends daily. Those prayers are answered and felt. 

I was talking to my doctor and she said “you’re the third cancer survivor I’ve talked to today!” Two things popped out to me, cancer is a beast and I am a cancer survivor.

I’m not used to saying that I have cancer, let alone that I am a survivor, but I’ll take it. I am grateful to see a new day.

My husband is one of the strongest people I know. All that he did physically and mentally during this time is more than I can list. I am so blessed to have him and so much love in my life.

I am doing well. I am fortunate that it was found early and the surgeries (as difficult as there were) are done. There are some side effects, like surgically induced menopause, so I now have the super power of hot flashes.? I have started treatment to prevent the cancer from coming back, and I’m looking towards 2021 with the expectation that God will continue to guide my path. 

So we are truly dancing and praising into 2021 with purpose, hope, and love. 


10 thoughts on “Life between Facebook Posts

  • You are simply amazing and so strong. Thank God for his healing and strength. And thank you for sharing this. You blessed me. Praying for you and the family. Happy New Year.

  • You are a survivor! I am so sorry that you went through so much last year, but thank God you made it! Praying that God continues to cover you and keep you.

  • So sorry to hear all that you have been through but appreciate your testimony. My prayers for are for your health, strength and positive attitude! Be blessed.

  • What a blessing you are healing and on the road to recovery. Thank you for sharing, you are an amazing Mom, wife, and a survivor!

  • You are amazing, your family is amazing and you are a survivor! Nothing beats that….so glad you shared, so sorry this happened….life has a way as challenging us but you came out on top and I know you handled everything with poise and grace! Think about you often….prayers moving forward! Keep dancing into 2021.

  • Soror…I admire your strength. I also admire your work. I am also a visual artist. Please continue to inspire us.

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