Instead of following my husband’s advice to schedule a doctor’s appointment immediately after discovering the lump in my left breast area, I resolved to “watch it” for another week. I thought that it could be hormones and that it would eventually go down or dissolve on its own. During the week that I waited, the area in my left breast continued to throb at night.
After going back and forth in my mind about what to do, I eventually decided to schedule an appointment with my primary doctor. My doctor examined me, felt the lump and immediately referred me for a MAMMOGRAM and an ULTRASOUND. After this appointment, everything else that happened felt like a whirlwind. It felt like I had just stepped out of a go- cart that was going 25mph into a Porsche that was traveling at 190mph. Everything seemed to be coming at me so fast and all at once. I had to make decisions that I never in a million years would have thought that I would have to make, especially about my health. Prior to all of this, I had prided myself for having no health problems. Although I had excellent insurance, I only had to go to the doctor for annual exams. I was not on any prescribed medications. So overall, I was in good health.
As I described earlier, the lump was located in the lower portion of my left breast, near the rib cage. Therefore, due to its location, the lump did not show up on the mammogram because that part of my breast could not fit on the screening panel. Because the lump did not show up on the mammogram, and because my primary physician ordered an ultrasound as well, the Radiologist performed an ultrasound. The lump showed up on the ultrasound. For this reason, I cannot tell you how grateful I am that my doctor ordered an ultrasound. If there is any advice that I can give, it would be to request an ultrasound along with a mammogram, whenever you have your breasts examined due to a suspicious mass.
Unlike the mammogram, the ultrasound showed the lump clearly. As the technician moved the ultrasound wand back and forth over the mass, I noticed what appeared to look like small pieces of rock salt on the screen. Immediately, I felt in my spirit and in my gut that the mass was cancerous.
Shortly after the ultrasound was completed, the Radiologist came into the room and told me, “I don’t know what it is, but there is definitely something there.” After obtaining the Radiologist’s report, my doctor then referred me to a breast specialist and surgeon from UCLA whose practice was located in Valencia, CA which was about 1 hour from my home.
The doctor appointment, mammogram, ultrasound, ultrasound results and breast cancer specialist referral all happened in one day! I was emotionally drained and physically exhausted all at the same time. Little did I know this was just the beginning of the whirlwind. This was the first leg of the journey.
Throughout the course of my adult life, many times I have heard people say, “Life is short. Your life can change in a split second. Live life to the fullest.” These statements never resonated with me until that day. The day I was referred to a breast specialist for a biopsy to determine if I had breast cancer or not. From that day until I went to the initial appointment with the breast specialist, I thought long and hard about my future, about what I was going to do if I had cancer. My thoughts never yielded answers, only more thoughts, which eventually turned into fear.
The thing about fear is that what we fear most, usually never happens in the way we imagine it. As a Christian, I have come to know, based upon scripture, that fear is one of the devil’s weapons. He uses fear to consume and overwhelm us, which ultimately causes a thick shadow of darkness to fall upon our thought and decision processes. BUT, there is relief. There is a remedy, if you only believe.
God’s love letter-the Holy Bible- tells us that fear is not of God and anything that is not of God is of the devil. It says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2Timothy 1:7
There are many comforting scriptures to be found in the Holy Bible, but one scripture that I would like to leave you with today says, “Humble yourselves, then, under God’s mighty hand, so that he will lift you up in his own good time. Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you.” 1Peter 5:6-7.
Be blessed and be free from worry and fear! Please feel free to comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next time, Ciao! ♥