I kept telling myself that I wasn’t nervous, but I don’t know how else to explain my appointment mix up. I pulled up at the Dr’s office at 11:30am and instantly remembered my appointment wasn’t until 12:30.
Perhaps this was God’s way of giving me time to collect my thoughts, pray and reflect. I parked my car, turned off the engine and grabbed my notebook to write down what would later turn into this post.
I looked around. The last time I was inside this Dr’s office I was in “the conference room” crying as the doctor told me about my diagnosis. I sat in the car trying to remember the doctor’s face…nothing.
I couldn’t remember her face, but I remembered her voice and the way she sighed before telling me ” I’m sorry it’s cancer.”
Those words echoed in my head as I watched patients walk in and out of the building.
The last time I walked out of this building I was in tears.
This was the office I had received news that changed my life.
I remember how nervous and afraid I was the last time I was in this same parking lot.
So much had changed since the last time I was here. I wasn’t the same–nothing was the same.
Today, I wasn’t afraid. My faith had grown twice the size of my fears.
My mom arrived just in time. I checked in and was immediately called back and escorted into “the room”.
This was the same room where my biopsy was performed.
Flashes of nurses and the masked doctor standing over me, the bright lights and buzzing of medical equipment were interrupted by a knock at the door.
It was her. The surgeon walked in and her face lit up when she saw me. Just a few moments ago I couldn’t even remember her face; now it was all coming back to me.
The last time we spoke, her countenance was stoic as she delivered the news of my diagnosis.
Today, she smiled and we sat and talked like old friends before I had to lay down for another breast exam.
First, she felt under my arm then stopped and frowned and felt again. She examined my breast a few times, stopped with the same frown. Before finishing the exam she felt under my arm a few more times and finally helped me sit up.
“Well…” she started with a sigh, but not the “I’m sorry it’s cancer” sigh. This sigh was different… She looked at me, then at my mom and continued.
“Wow things have really changed since the last time I saw you. I can’t find the lump that we felt under your arm during your first visit. It has disappeared! The tumors on your breast are barely there.”
To go from having tumors large enough to alter the shape of my breast to having both my surgeon and oncologist barely be able to detect them was a blessing.
She went on to further discuss how things would work for surgery. Due to the type of cancer, family history and other factors we both agreed a double mastectomy would be the best route.
It was a lot to take in, but if losing “the girls” meant being here with my boys then I was ready…
I've always believed that we tend to be the most effective in areas where we have been the most affected. It's often our deepest pains that draw us closer to our purpose. Those words never really hit home until I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer at the age of 28. I had watched both my mother and grandmother battle the disease, but never thought I would find myself in the same battle, especially not so young. I've learned through this journey that it's not what you go through, but how you go through it. I wanted to share my story in hopes that it will inspire someone to keep fighting, keep the faith and live on purpose.