The C Word: I’m not sure I fully processed that it could be my reality until I was walking out of the Florida Imaging center several months ago. I walked through the appointments leading up to the conversation with the Radiologist in a numb and professional manner as if we weren’t talking about me and certainly as if death wasn’t a factor. I even went by myself because I was so sure that the "C Word" wouldn't be mentioned. In the following months, what started as believed to be a milk duct from breastfeeding was quickly realized that what we were seeing on the scans was a tumor with an additional mass nearby. Original diagnoses: “Probably benign with further testing necessary" and an order to follow up with further diagnostic scans and a potential biopsy.” Probably. Probably. Probably. Benign meaning not cancerous with the word "probably" in front of it. Leaving the office that day, the word “probably” sank in. I held it together until the word "probably" got the best of me halfway through the parking lot and I burst into tears praying to God for this not to be my reality. What was happening? What was I hearing? I'm too young to have this diagnoses. I was supposed to come in for a test and leave with a clean bill of health. Probably didn’t mean I was 100% ok. The word “probably” meant there was potentially a life threatening tumor in my body killing me even as I pondered the word. I would sit up with my baby at night and be grateful that I was alive to wake up at 4 AM to feed him. I would watch Auden playing and wonder if he would remember me if the word “probably” ended up meaning that I had cancer. There it is. The C word. Over the past few months I've gone under a series of various test, scans, diagnostic 3D mammograms to which they never could determine that it wasn't cancer. The reports continuously came back that the places were probably benign with further testing needed. We lived in the reality from appointment to appointment of what "might be" but the peace of God was constantly in my heart. I am human and fear may have caught me off guard a couple of times but God always reminded me with His peace that I was to believe His report of wholeness. During several months of uncertainty my faith was fully in His good report. As I was sitting in countless waiting rooms watching people come back out with negative reports I wrote this on my phone: (a rolling reel of my thoughts in that moment)"Thoughts sitting at waiting room at imaging center: Such a scared, worried and sad place. Everyone has a look of worry on their face. I drove here alone and sitting here alone. Feeling as though I’m coming to get my death sentence. I find myself smiling at the staff extra than usual and writing extra details on my paperwork as if I could somehow talk them out of giving me the cancer card. As if it’s a card that they get to choose who receives it and I feel like the more I write on my paper how I have two babies 2 years old and under that maybe they’ll like me and choose not to tell me I have cancer. But it’s not their choice. It’s not in their control. I’m the youngest person in here. Probably 15 people scattered around the waiting room. All of them older and looking at me as though I shouldn’t be here. I shouldn’t be here. Almost a look on their face of feeling sorry for me. It’s one of those pressed together side smiles they give when they want to say, "sorry you’re here, hope you're ok" but they don’t actually say words. The nurses keep coming out calling names. As they call a name, the named person stands and sheepishly walks towards the door as if their sentence has come up and they’re next in line. They’ve tried to make it spa like in here. Last stop before heaven.... tickets, tickets please (In the Polar Express Tom Hanks voice). Thinking of my grandmother and how many times she had to do stuff like this, having cancer multiple times in her life. She was always so positive. I feel so bad now that I didn’t take more time to be with her and even go to appointments with her. I hope she didn't feel alone. Maybe this will be nothing. But one thing is for certain: it’s given me a different outlook on life already and I hope I never have to walk through it truly. I do believe Gods report, I'm just here to get it confirmed on paper." I share those inner thoughts with you here today on this post for multiple reasons. 1. When life is threatened it will cause you to see everything differently. 2. No matter how young you are please go get checked in areas of concern for your health. 3. Lean on God through the uncertain times - it's His peace that will get you through the good and the bad. Finally, the biopsy was ordered to take samples from the mass(es) to be tested for accuracy and as we waited for the Doctors report we had total peace that Gods report was that I did not have cancer. After months from the original concern we received our report that we had chosen to believe the whole time. The day after Christmas we received the final diagnoses from my biopsy: "Fully benign tumors" with recommendation to follow up every 6 months. There is no longer a "probably" in front of my Doctors report. My Doctors report now lines up on paper with my Gods report. Months of uncertainty is now certain. God is good - but God was also just as good when it was uncertain. Life is full of uncertainty - but God is always, not probably, but always good.
God is always good - even when "probably" is present.
I do want to encourage people to go and be checked in areas of uncertainty when it comes to your health. Don't let the thoughts of being too young or too old stop you from getting further information about your health. I know the feeling of "not wanting to go because you don't want to hear bad news." But remember: bad news early is good news. Breast Cancer Awareness is a real thing - I hope through sharing my story that you'll be encouraged to visit your Doctor in areas of uncertainty no matter how young or healthy you may be. I also hope you'll see God's goodness in areas of uncertainty in your life as we enter into 2019. He is always good. "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me." Psalm 23:4
Praise God in your "probably".
"You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you." Psalm 139:1-12