October was breast cancer awareness month. Thank God for awareness months. At the pace of life I travel, little things like scheduling a mammogram, which isn’t enjoyable in the first place, can slip by so easily.
It had been about three years since I last had a mammogram. I am well into my “schmiddle ages” and it is recommended that women over 40 get mammograms every year. This is especially true for those women who have a family history of breast cancer, such as is the case with me. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was around 50. It was during that time I was getting married. She postponed her procedure so she could attend and enjoy my wedding day. That is another emotional story for another day.
After much stalling, I decided to make the appointment during the month of October and I thank God I did. I remember leaving the pretty peach-colored wing of the hospital especially dedicated to women’s breast health thinking, I am so glad the radiologist didn’t call me back for another scan. I’m free! I must in the clear!
I was wrong.
My OBGYN called me a few days later and left a message telling me the radiologist saw a small mass on one of my breasts. I couldn’t believe it.
“Why didn’t you tell me the day of ?” I asked the nurse whom I immediately called back.
“The radiologist has so many charts to review it usually takes us a few days before we notify our patients,” she responded.
Wow, I thought to myself. That many women? Perhaps because it was October and it was breast cancer awareness month that there were so many charts to review. That’s a good thing, women getting their mammograms.
Nevertheless, what crappy news to hear—I’m thinking, I did my part, I got my breast checked and so now I can get on with my life. Then the words, “the radiologist saw a mass on one of your breasts,” put all that momentum on hold.
To add fuel to the slow burning fire of anxiety welling up inside me, I couldn’t schedule the biopsy until a week later.
“A whole week later?” I lamented.
“We’re always full each day with these procedures and that’s the earliest we can get you in,” a scheduling nurse replied.
Really? That many women?
My prayer for those women, including myself, was that the results would be benign. Upon hearing the news, my husband prayed with me. My mother prayed. My friends all prayed. Father God got the message.
Dear Lord, either remove this mass or cause it to be benign, In Jesus name!
I didn’t want breast cancer to change my life or cause me to lose my hair. I didn’t want to face the chemo, the radiation or loss of a breast because of cancer. I didn’t want to muster up the strength, like my mother did to fight cancer. My life was already full of challenges and I did not want or need another, thank you. I cried in the shower and then I let it go.
A week passed slowly and on the day of the biopsy, I was feeling nervous and optimistic. It could go either way. However, I was confident my prayers and those of my family and friends were heard.
The biopsy itself wasn’t painful at all and it was over in about twenty minutes. I am now the proud carrier of a small marker where the breast tissue was taken. “Welcome to the club,” one of the staff said, she being a marker carrier herself.
I gave a spiritless laugh and thought to myself, I don’t really want to be apart of this club but it I HAVE to be, I just want the basic membership.
I went home after the procedure and marked my calendar. I was supposed to call my OBGYN for the results on a Friday. Since there was no sense in me worrying until there was something to worry about, I continued on with my life.
Friday came quicker than I thought. My father arrived at my house early in the morning. I thought it was sweet he wanted to be there when I made the call to my OBGYN. I held my breath while the phone rang. I got her voicemail. Oddly, I was relieved.
About an hour later I got a return phone call from her office.
The results were benign!
My first emotion was thankfulness. I felt thankful and relieved I did not have to walk the path of fighting breast cancer. I wasn’t going to have to wage a battle for my life.
Thank you, thank you, Jesus!
My lesson learned is to get my mammogram every year and continue to take care of myself. Still, I know, there is no guarantee.
My heart and prayers go out to those women who did not get good news, who will have to do what it takes to fight breast cancer. My heart and prayers go out to the families and friends who also are apart of the struggle.
We need a cure. We need it now. My new prayer now is not to deliver us after we are diagnosed, it’s now, Lord, rid us of cancer all together.
Lord, you are Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals all our diseases. Hear our prayers. Reveal to us the cure for cancer so that those who work tirelessly for a cure, will finally reach the end and those whose lives are purposed for family, friends, causes and beyond can remain here with us until their appointed time. We know and confess that disease is not from you and though many lives are cut short because of it, it is not a testimony that you are no longer our healer. We instead testify that your word is true and that you are well able to rid us of the deadly manifestations of cancer in our bodies, just as you have done for other epidemic diseases. We give thanks in advance and praise you always!
Psalm 103: 1-5, says:
Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Have you had your mammogram?