A Near Miss

Breast Cancer

This week was tough one.

On Monday, I met with a client to discuss an upcoming project. I happily met with my client and bounced home to begin my writing projects. Traditionally, January is a busy and exciting time for me. I can expect to work long hours and at times, 6 days a week. As an entrepreneur, I strike when the iron is hot. December is a slower month with ample time to work on projects at a leisurely pace as job hunting and hiring slows down. The iron is burning hot in January. Tons of calls, quotes, proposals, and projects.

When I arrived home around 11:30 am, there was a phone message. It’s the phone message that, as women, we all dread. A local x ray clinic asked my Hubs to get me to call back right away.

My stomach dropped and I felt my heart thumping… oh no… I had a mammogram last week. With shaking hands and a suddenly dry throat, I called them right away. Once I got through, I told them my name and they told me “Your screening mammogram shows that you need further testing.”

Fear struck…and lodged deep in my soul.

I was fast tracked and they made an appointment for me at 2:30 that same day for a specialized mammogram. I was shocked and my husband was shocked. How can this be? I collapsed into my chair and clutched my husband’s hand.

The questions screamed in my head. Scenarios started to roll around my thoughts. It must be bad if they want to see me today… this is exactly how it begins for some women… at least I only have to wait a couple of hours for answers. Although I had projects to do, I couldn’t think, couldn’t concentrate, and couldn’t work.

In my living room, I have custom art with my favourite scriptures.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil 4:13

The joy of the Lord is my strength. Neh 8:10

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him. Ps 37:7

For the next couple of hours, I repeated the scriptures to myself. Over and over to maintain my cool.

I know I was in shock and as an A type personality, I thought there is much to be done. I was overwhelmed with many questions and much uncertainty. What about my kids? How will I tell my Brubs? My Dad? What about my business? So many scenarios reverberated around my head as I struggled to find and hold onto the peace that surpasses all understanding. Telling myself… it’s probably fine… trust… have faith.

At 2:15 we landed at the clinic. While waiting for my turn, the letter from BCCA Screening Mammogram landed in my inbox. The letter outlining next steps, if any. Getting the letter did not help at all.  I thought to myself why the rush?? Must be bad.

After the specialized mammogram, I was asked to wait in the little change room. I sat cold… in the little pink gown that hung open at the back. I was told it was likely that the radiologist will require more testing. Part of me was stunned. What??? I was sure that this would be it. No problem… go home. The radiologist read the results and the ultrasound was booked for Tuesday. Andrew and I cried together in the car. Scared…are our dreams for happy retirement going to happen??

I stopped at my girlfriend’s house. I needed a sister to talk to… a woman to reassure me. She shared stories of other women who also had to get further investigation. Women who did not end up with a breast cancer diagnosis. I told her that this is how it begins… my ride might only be two days… or it might not. I shared with my gal pal that I would handle everything with faith and she asked me a powerful question. What does handling a cancer diagnosis with faith look like?

I believe that faith means trusting. Trusting that I can handle anything thrown my way with God. That it does not mean NOT having fear or having ridiculous scenarios running through my head or not sleeping for a day or two. It means trusting that I am prepared and that He will make a way. Trusting that it may be nothing to be worried about and if it is worst case scenario, I can walk the road before me.

Andrew and I did not sleep much on Monday night. We were quiet… not talking too much… spending time in prayer. My usual thing would be to call people, put out a prayer request on FB, and call on my prayer warriors. I couldn’t do any of that.

Tuesday, I couldn’t work and couldn’t focus. We ran errands before the appointment. Killing time… trying not to think about it. At the ultrasound, I was probed and prodded thoroughly. I requested the radiologist to read the results while I was there and was told it wasn’t possible. I tried to make an appointment for my family doctor for that afternoon, but I couldn’t get in and the results would not be ready until Wednesday morning. I felt desperate for something, anything, to hold onto.

When I asked the technician if there was anything she could tell me, she said no. The radiologist would have to read the results and I shouldn’t be too worried about this. Without telling me anything, she offered a generous, kind, and reassuring word. I felt my shoulders loosen a little and took a big breath. One more day… it’s almost certainly nothing to worry about.

Wednesday morning, my doctor called.

Don’t worry… nothing is wrong… just an inflamed lymph node.

This experience has given me a little peek into what my sisters with breast cancer might feel at the beginning. The unknowing… no control… fear… shock…waiting for results. The stress was immense for me, my husband, and my sister friend. As a volunteer, I often sit with the dying and have held space for women dying from metastasized breast cancer. With my mom, my Momma friend, and other family members, I have witnessed the ugly, roaring, monster of cancer up close and personal. I pray that this experience helps me to be more understanding and compassionate. I am deeply aware of the blessing of good health, a wonderful husband, and my loving friend.

I am grateful that I do not have to walk the cancer road. Thank you Jesus!

If you are facing a health scare, having a hard time, or struggling with something, please let me know. I will pray and pray for you. I will listen and offer hope.



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