There Is Faith
Sunday, April 23rd, 2017 at 10:24pm. There it is. A lump. There is no denying it, I can distinctly feel the “bump-bump” as my finger slides over it. I turn to my husband and ask him to feel. Yes. He feels it. It is a lump. A lump in my left breast.
How can this be happening – again?! In the past 23 months I have had a MRI, ultrasounds, core biopsies, needle aspiration biopsies, a mastectomy, bone scan, and four mammograms. My most recent mammogram was February 6th, 2017 and I was given the “all clear”. So how can there be a lump on the breast that is supposed to be healthy – my one and only breast.
Forty hours after finding the lump I sit in my Doctor’s office. Composed. Worried. Talking myself down from the ledge… She assesses me and she feels the lump. It is difficult to find, but it is there. She assures me that it does not feel suspicious, but orders an urgent mammogram and ultrasound so that we can be certain of what we are dealing with. I leave the office clinging to the hope that this lump is benign. I go home to my husband and my son. I cry. I call my Mom and Dad. I sense them breaking – not again. Please God, not again.
In the past 23 months I have been poked, prodded, scanned, sliced, and squashed. With the diligence that my health team invested in me, throughout diagnosis, to treatment, to follow-up I just can not accept that something was missed. I know I worry about the possibility of a reoccurrence, but once faced with it, once the lump in my left breast presented itself and was palpable I just could not believe it. This can not be happening. Not again. Not now. I put on my game face and go on with my every day living.
I refuse – REFUSE to let this damn disease get the better of me – not physically, not mentally, not emotionally. I’ve beaten it back twice, and even though the second battle knocked me down hard, I still got up. And even though, 22 months later, I am still recovering from the trauma of it all, I know I have fight left in me – I am going to grab this cancer by the balls and kick it to the f!#ing curb. Because this time I am MAD… (at least that was the pep talk I gave myself) – For seven days I walked around my house back-talking cancer like a crazy person. And I prayed. I prayed hard, long, and at every chance I got. It gave me solace. It gave me peace. It allowed me to hear that tiny voice inside my head that was whispering softly to me “This is not cancer”.
Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017 at 10:15am. My name is called. It is the technologist who calls my name. I rise. My husband and I share a look – a look that speaks a thousand words of love and conviction. We embrace. This is it. The defining moment. We will know the truth of what we are dealing with before the hour is out. I am ushered into the mammography room. It will be a 3D Mammogram of 4 pictures. The technologist is professional yet she is incredibly compassionate. Her kindness provides me with a grave sense of trust. I breathe. I endure the discomfort of the mammogram. We proceed to the ultrasound room. She takes her time, diligently scanning my breast. She calls in the Radiologist. It is the same Radiologist who discovered the cancer in my right breast 23 months ago. I feel grateful that I have her a second time. She too, is diligent and thorough. The lump has been found. It is on the very edge of my breast tissue. It is a non-suspicious lymph node. She compares it to the lymph nodes that remain on my right side. They look identical – slightly enlarged but non-suspicious. There is no indication of breast cancer. There is no biopsy required. I am free to go. I am to follow up with my family doctor, and continue to remain vigilant and aware of the appearance of my breast and any changes that may occur.
I share the good news with my husband, my Dad, my Mom, and my sister. There is relief. There is conviction. There is faith. There is joy. And I literally leap for it. I leap for joy.
There Is Faith. Published by: Crystal Joy Hall