…thinking, thinking, processing. Where do I begin? I know! I should just simply say, “God is love, His mercies endure forever and I am so very grateful for who He is in my life!” Now walk with me to approximately two years ago and I will catch you up. The day was what I consider my norm. You know…wake up, but don’t quite open your eyes, chat with God, ask Him questions to justify why you are not up and getting ready for work, pump yourself up to get up, start the process, realize your kiddo is up before you, prep breakfast, finally head out the door, notice you didn’t work out and oh…you left your shake on the counter and you have to go back inside for it! Can anyone relate?
Ahh, yes, I have some supporters out there! Relieved…I’m not alone. As mentioned before this was a typical day and I was excited in general because it was my birthday month! There were a ton of expectations running through my mind, but often times it gets overcrowded so I decided to be still and put the pen to the paper and fill my planner.
Let’s get to the point of the story, shall we? Sooo…yes, it was a Monday and I had arrived safely at the office. I began my “to-do’s” and “to-don’ts” and I reached out to grab something across my desk when I noticed a mild tingling sensation in my right breast. Honestly, I carried on as usual until I reached out again and I felt the same thing a second time.
The following day it was the same thing every time I would extend my arm or bring it in close to me. Without hesitation “Spirit” and I began chatting. I scrolled down my mental checklist: “You’ve just had your cycle? Check. Do you eat great 80% of the time? Check. Have you been hit in your breast area? Check. Could you be stressed? Yeah, ok, but overall, I am good.” Hmm…wait a minute I do recall when my son ran up and hugged me tightly it did feel very tender the night before. I knew then it was not the time to panic, but to pay more attention and so I did. [Click here for a video of my Healthy Living Plan]
By now it was Wednesday evening and I was expecting one of my sisters to arrive to crash at my place for the night. Once she made it in when hopped on the couch and gabbed like old times. Suddenly, I felt that unfamiliar, but familiar enough to take a closer look feeling again. I explained to her what had been going on right then and there in my living room. I was compelled to do a self-breast exam. You guys I did not know what would come of it, but it indeed was a LUMP! I calmly responded, “Oh…it’s a lump.” My sister looked at me with a ghost white complexion and swore I was, too calm.
In that moment all I knew to do was remain calm. I did not have all the facts, maybe I did the exam wrong, right?! Most of all I understood the importance of reaction|response. Whatever this mountain (lump) was I had to consult with God. So I kept on conversing, but I saw fear in my sister’s eyes as she felt the lump for herself. We made eye contact once more and with uncertainty she said, “Don’t freak out. It’s going to be okay.” Then I got up and headed to my room.
I got ready for bed so I could lie down, process, and talk with God. I told Him what was up, what I could handle, what I could not handle and then the tears streamed down my cheeks. I decided I should call my cousin who is an oncology nurse and sees cancer patients daily and I told her my concerns. She was able to give me facts, insight, probabilities, referrals, and reassurance that more than likely it was just a cyst. Guys…I was praying that it was nothing more than that and that by dawn the nightmare would be over and the lump would have disappeared.
I want to include a diagram here for you to see what symptoms to look for:
Next day I enrolled in the #TeamNoSleep Club and decided I had a choice to do life as I always do or let this mountain (yeah it was still there) take control of me. I went with option number one. My son knew there was something up (I mean the clinging alone), but he couldn’t quite put his finger on it and I wasn’t ready to share this with him. I contacted loved ones and requested prayer and attempted to carry on. Once in the office, I shared with a few cohorts and once I got to my supervisor I had a mini-meltdown. However, everyone was uplifting and told me I would be fine.
Shortly after speaking with my supervisor I hopped on the phone to contact my OB/GYN and they referred me to the local breast center. Soon I was scheduled for an appointment for the following Friday. Really?! Nine days from now, Friday?! So I phoned my special someone and told him the arrangements and he boldly stated that that would not work and that I must call them right back and schedule for a day before Friday. Then “Flesh” started rising up, “Soooo you want me…to just call them back and make them reschedule for an earlier date with all this stress on me (this was all in my head mind you)? IT. WAS. ABOUT. TO. GO. DOWN. Then “Spirit” chimed in and said, ” You do realize this is his way of comforting you and trying to take this distraction off of your mind. Plus, if you get in at an earlier date you will find out sooner and truly be able to enjoy your birthday weekend.” Ok…ok fine “Spirit” was right. I humbled myself and told him that I needed to go so I could call them back. The first attempt was a no go. The next day I called late that afternoon and by the grace of God they had an opening. And…when I say an opening it was at 8 AM on my, yes, you guessed it BIRTHDAY. Ha! I received a follow-up call stating that on the day of my appointment I could not apply deodorant or body lotion. Huh?! Now, why would they suggest that? I knew exactly why, but that’s for another day. I almost yelled through the phone, “You know I have personal care products including aluminum-free deodorant that I stand behind 100%!!!” However, “Spirit,” said, “No, just follow the instructions.”
God was still blessing and so on my birthday I went in and draped a cape over myself to have my first ever diagnostic mammogram. I was afraid that it would be so painful as I have heard so many people say the pain is awful, but for me, it was not. In addition, they also did an ultrasound to get a better look. You guys I am blessed to tell you it was only a mildly complicated CYST!!! I praised God for this good news because He heard my cry!!! So on behalf of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and all those that have endured, are currently fighting and for the lives, we hope to prevent this from ever happening to…I share My Cape Story and My Heart with you. So often we do not share, we do not talk about it, we do not do the self-breast exam, or we ignore the signs. I am so THANKFUL! I am also asking you to do your self-breast exams each month, listen to your body and if you discover something out of the norm talk to your loved ones and go to your healthcare professional.
In conclusion, I want to encourage you and leave you with this, “FEAR NOT!” “Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” ~Isaiah 41:10 If you have a similar story I would love to hear about it in the comments below. I hope that I said something that inspired you!