I found the lump quite by accident. It was early January 2010. We had just moved and were still unpacking. Scott and I were unpacking groceries. I was putting the refrigerated items away. Scott tossed me a package of cheese (sandwich slices). He caught me off guard and the cheese hit my breast....and it hurt!! Needless to say we shared a laugh over it. However, later that evening as we lay in bed I rubbed my breast where the cheese had struck me (it was tender) and that is when I found the lump. The cheese hit me right where the lump was. Although I was alarmed, fear did not overtake me and I was able to go to sleep. The next morning I got up early to pray and spend time reading my Bible. The lump was foremost in my mind. I read some notes from my journal. Somewhere along the way I had written a notation on Hosea 2:14 "Sometimes we are led into the desert by God." Then I looked at the next page in my journal and I had recorded Is. 43:1-3, 5 "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.....Do not be afraid, for I am with you". The Lord gave me peace. I sensed this was going to be a journey....a desert experience...but I also knew that He was with me.
During the next several weeks I visited my GYN, who recommended a mammogram and possible ultrasound. I had the mammo and ultrasound...the radiologist didn't like what he saw and ordered a biopsy in both breasts...they found a couple of suspicious areas in my other breast. I had the biopsy and the next day I found out that there was cancer in my left breast. Invasive ductal carcinoma and in situ carcinoma. The right breast biopsy came back benign, but would require screening every 6 months.
It was at this point that I was accepted by The Bridge, an organization that enables women with breast cancer who do not have health insurance to seek treatment. I can't say enough good things about them. They are kind, caring, compassionate women. I'm so grateful for the doctors who participate in this program as well as the hospitals, labs and imaging centers.
Fast forward to present time. My breast surgeon is Dr. Sally Knox. She has scheduled me for a double mastectomy Thursday, May 13th. I opted to have my right breast removed since it has suspicious areas that require close monitoring. Dr. Knox and her staff connected me to the Daniely Foundation which helps women with breast reconstruction. Prior to this I was planning on using breast prosthesis. However, I am now scheduled for reconstruction on the day of the mastectomy. Or should I say phase I of reconstruction. It will be completed once chemotherapy is over (estimated at 5-6 months away).
There are times I can't believe this is happening to me....it's surreal. But it is real. I never expected this. However, I have a choice how I am going to face it. I could easily slip into anger, resentment, self-pity....and FEAR. My other choice is to fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith, and to believe Him when his word says He causes all things to work together for my good. To believe Him when his word says He will fulfill his purpose for me. To believe Him when he says he will never leave me or forsake me. I choose to trust Him. I choose Him.