After receiving the referral for the breast specialist from my primary doctor, I immediately followed up by making an appointment. Thank God that I was able to get an appointment with the breast specialist a couple of days after the ultrasound. My husband and I went to see the specialist, who performed an in office biopsy of the lump. The biopsy was very painful. I think the thing that made it so painful was the fact that I was able to see what was going on. The blade and the eye of the biopsy needle were larger than the normal hypodermic size needle. I watched as the surgeon poked and poked in and out of my flesh in a quest to obtain enough cells to determine whether or not cancer was present in my body.
At the conclusion of the excruciating biopsy, the specialist informed us that it would take three business days to get the results back. The wait was difficult. My husband and I tried our best to act as if everything were “normal.” We moved around and tiptoed around the GIGANTIC PINK ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM. Although I had a feeling that the results would not be good, I never shared this intuition with my husband or anyone else, until much later. Although I felt in my spirit that the news was going to be bad, I still longed to hear that the tumor was benign and not malignant.
The specialist called around 3:45 p.m on March 1, 2011 and delivered the most sobering news that I have ever received. He told me that the lump was malignant and that he wanted to perform surgery as soon as possible. He told me that his nurses would be contacting me with a surgery date. He apologized for having to deliver such dismal news. And just like that (imaginative snap of the finger), my life changed forever.
After I hung up the phone, which was located on the night stand next to my bed, I crawled underneath the covers and pulled them over my head. It was like I was numb. The tears were in my heart, but they would not flow from my eyes. I lay there surrounded by the darkness of the covers. I lay there in total silence. I lay there nervously, but at the same time having an overwhelming sense of peace and resolve. God was there. He was with me underneath the covers. I felt His presence as I began to speak. I said, “I do not want to die from this. I have a husband and two babies who need me. I know that you are going to get me through this. With your help, I am going to beat this.”
The tears began to flow. It was as if each tear had its own unique characteristic, kind of like snowflakes-no two are the same. If I could characterize each tear, I would give them names likes FEAR, SORROW, UNCERTAINTY, DESPAIR, HOPE, GUILT, ANGER, SURPRISE, SHAME, TROUBLE, LAMENT, HEAVINESS, TRUST, ANXIETY, WORRY, DOUBT, DISTRESS, FAITH, and DEEP DARKNESS.
There is a scripture in God’s love letter to us that says, “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Psalm 56:8, New Living Translation (NLT)
This scripture means so much to me because I can rest assured that each one of those emotions associated with my tears, have been recorded by God. He has taken them. He cares so much for me that he actually takes notice of my tears, takes them, bottles them up and records them! He takes every emotion assigned to our tears and turns them into something far greater than ourselves. He turns those tears into TESTIMONIES. HE turns those tears into STRENGTH.
Be assured that your tears are not in vain. When you cry, know that those are tears of purpose. They are tears that God cares about and that He is doing something about. He is changing your situation to uniquely fit the person that you are. Everyone’s story is different. Everyone’s experience with breast cancer is different. Everyone’s response is different. God created us this way-different and unique. Because we are His creation, He knows how to comfort us based upon these differences. I challenge you to look for God’s comfort this week. Open yourself up to notice the subtle ways in which He is pouring strength, courage and the desire to fight, into your heart this week.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6, New International Version
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Until next time, Ciao! ♥