Oh dear. I don't even know where to begin. I guess this story starts on December 18th, my mom and dad's anniversary. I've started my mission papers, so I had to have a TB test read that morning. Within 10 minutes of getting home, my mom was diagnosed with cervical cancer. It wasn't a surprise, we had been expecting the phone call for a few days, but the definitiveness of getting the diagnosis was still hard. My dad's parents had come to stay with us the day before, on their own anniversary. My parents and my grandparents went to dinner that night and my dad told them what we had learned that day. My 2 oldest brothers were told that night with hopes that they would be able to step up around the house so my sisters didn't have to know before the break from school. We had a Christmas party with my dad's family that Saturday, and because my dad had told his siblings earlier in the week, my parents told my sisters that morning so they wouldn't find out at the party. Before the diagnosis, there was a possibility that surgery could be done before the end of the year and the cancer would be gone. We hoped that one surgery would be enough and to get it done while we were catastrophic would have been a blessing. When the biopsies came back, it was suspected that a more invasive surgery would need to occur, one that required seeing a different doctor. My mom had a CT/Pet-scan on the 29th. The results from that test showed that the cancer is localized and hasn't spread. We still don't know what stage the cancer is, but the results of that test mean it is 1 or 2. My mom met with an oncologist yesterday. She decided that a 2-stage surgery would be best. The purpose of the first surgery is to gather a larger biopsy to determine what the second surgery will be. Depending on the biopsy results, my mom will either have a traditional hysterectomy or a radical hysterectomy 2 days after the first surgery. There is only about a 15% chance a traditional hysterectomy will be enough, but a radical hysterectomy is so much more invasive that it is worth doing a biopsy to see what surgery is needed. The surgeries are tentatively scheduled for the 15th and 17th. At this point, we don't think chemo or radiation will be necessary, but they are still possibilities. The purpose of this post was not to draw attention or cause unnecessary concern, but to inform and give more people the opportunity to pray for us. Really that's what we need right now--your prayers and possibly a plate of brownies if you have time (: We are very optimistic and are already seeing countless blessings. This is a slow-growing cancer and it was caught very early. It has been nice to have everyone home during this time with the break from school and work. We haven't been "keeping this a secret," but it is difficult to tell people. I'll try to keep everyone updated, especially regarding the surgeries coming up.