Every time I get a mammogram... I wonder if this will be “the day” – the day they tell me I need a biopsy.
That day came this past Tuesday. The radiologist told me I needed to schedule a needle tissue biopsy on my left side to see if a suspicious area has cancerous cells. I acted like it was no big deal while she explained exactly what they will do and how I need to prepare for it.
I think my brain went numb… until I walked out into the lobby and Holly asked me how things went.
That’s when I melted into tears and tried to explain what happened. She held me with her eyes and listened and helped me talk through what I needed to do next. Then we got a latte at Starbucks and slowly made our way toward the parking garage, and toward a new hard thing I didn’t want to have to process.
This All Started in December 1992
Seventeen years ago, my mom had a suspicious area that ended up being cancer and she had a mastectomy that year right before Christmas. Her mother had died of breast cancer in 1977. In the past several years my mom’s two neices (my two cousins) have had breast cancer. They are the only two females in my generation from mom’s side that hit their 40s before me. I am next in line in the age range that is risky. My cousin, Amy, just had a voluntary double mastectomy to avoid it all together. She is the sister of the other two that had it.
Two and a half years ago I got a routine mammogram and had to go back for a diagnostic one because of this “area.” At that time we decided I would start seeing an oncology surgeon (who is head of Oncology at Carolina’s medical) so that he could closely watch and help me navigate through decisions if a time like this came. He has been very concerned since the beginning and has even suggested throwing me into menopause early! (Mercy, I opted out of that one.) Anyway, he said they’d watch it and if it changed we’d do a biopsy.
It has changed, so here we are.
I fell asleep crying Tuesday night. Not because I was scared(yet)…but because I was exhausted. In fact, I told JJ and Holly and Lysa and my mom I was too tired to be scared. I couldn’t feel anything but weary and worn. I desperately needed to rest so I could get renewed mentally to make decisions about the timing of my biopsy – which everyone wanted me to do the next day!
I honestly don’t want to know the results (if something is wrong) for Christmas. A week of waiting won’t make it any worse. And not knowing doesn’t make me anxious.
That might sound odd, but if I know it is cancer then I have to face it and I’m not ready for that. It’s Christmas and I’m still recuperating from adopting a baby, traveling to Africa, having mom in the hospital and trying to write a book that I just signed a contract for before all this crazy stuff happened.
Well, scared came. And so did denial. Then came questioning. Next came convincing myself it’s nothing.
It’s funny how our feelings and sense of what God is doing changes each day in times like these. Each day got better as I had time to sleep and pray, read God’s Word and process it all with JJ and my sweet Father who knows all things. I have sensed God’s nearness and His good. There are so many ways He’s intervened the past two weeks leading up to this and I have experience how very present He is in my time of need. I know I can trust my very great God in the midst of not so good news.
And I finally made my appointments. I am scheduled to see my oncologist this Monday, Dec 21st, at 2:30pm for an examination and to find out the “what ifs”. Then I have my biopsy on Monday, Dec 28th at 8:30am. I don’t think we’ll have too many answers until after my biopsy comes back the week of New Year’s.
Although this is really hard, I have peace and assurance deep in my soul that can only come from Jesus. He’s looking out for me, and so is JJ! He surprised me with a weekend away (that started last night) to rest and spend some time with Jesus. I am staying at one of my favorite hotels and it’s been wonderful. I am using this time to focus on and prepare for what is now – Christmas, my precious baby and boys, and the gift of time with my family. After Christmas, we’ll think about what might be next.
I love you my friends!!I’m so glad that we walk this journey together as we follow hard after Him.