This is a post that I wrote two years ago when I learned that I had breast cancer. The last few days, I have found myself reflecting on those days and how much our life has changed in the past two years.
This past week has felt like the longest week of my life. Last Wednesday I had gone to the doctor because of some suspicious lumps that I had found. To be honest, I went, not because I was worried, but I just knew that that was the right thing to do. I wasn’t concerned, partly because in my mind, there was nothing yet to be concerned about and I figure that there are enough real concerns in life that I shouldn’t be wasting my time worrying about something that we didn’t know was a real worry or not. After my doctor’s visit on Wednesday, though, I began to get a bit more concerned, since they had recommended I go for a biopsy. My doctors just seemed concerned, so that made me a bit worried. But again, I kept saying that statistics were on my side, 80% of breast biopsies come back negative for cancer. It was certainly a roller coaster of emotions because one day I would just be feeling silly because we had made a big deal out of it all, then I would be just convinced that I did indeed have cancer. As I look back, I see so many things to be thankful for even in the midst of this long week. First of all, our family spent some very sweet moments together, as we went through the weekend, trying not to think ‘what if?’, we just took time to be together, we had beautiful weather, and we just enjoyed the outdoors together. Another thing to be thankful for was when we saw the surgeon on Monday before she did the biopsy, she was somewhat encouraging that perhaps it wasn’t cancer. She didn’t promise us anything, but we at least felt better after seeing her. We believe that helped make the next two days of waiting more bearable.
Wednesday morning, as we waited, the thoughts that kept going through my mind were ‘I wonder what it sounds like to be told that you have cancer...’ Strange, I know, but that was my thought and the first thought after she told me that I did have breast cancer, was ‘so, that is what it sounds like...’
The hardest part of that day for me was calling so many people and making them sad. I told my sister that it reminded me of how I felt when I had the miscarriage...I felt guilty because I knew that I was making so many people sad and I want to bring happiness. Yes, she told me that was silly and I needed to get over that! :) I also just know that sometimes it is harder to watch someone you love go through something so difficult than it is to actually go through it yourself, so as much as I don’t want to go through all of this myself, I am thankful that it is me and not me watching a loved one.
Today, two days later, the reality of what I am facing is beginning to sink in, although, it all does still feel somewhat bizarre and surreal for me. The more I read about it and what I am going to face through treatment, the more I realize how different our lives are going to be. We are more than optimistic that we will have a good outcome. My doctors feel like we have caught it early, it is just a difficult process to go through.
I am going to end this very long post, but I do want to say how even though I know that so much has changed, I also feel like nothing has changed. I still have the sweetest, most precious boys in the world. I still have an amazing husband and family. And most importantly, we serve a good God. I have been just overwhelmed with the reality lately of how good our God is and in many ways, I feel it has been preparation for these moments in my life. Life sometimes is hard and it throws us curveballs that we never expected, but God walks each step with us, and I trust Him and my desire is to glorify Him with all that is in me.
I often hear people talk about days that have changed their lives or defined them and I guess hearing that you have cancer at the age of 29 could be one of those moments. I know that it did change many of the specific details of my life concerning where I was going to live and what I was going to do, but in so many ways, I feel like I could just repeat that last paragraph over again. God is good; He prepared us for these last two years in ways that we may never be able to fully articulate and the knowledge and confidence that He walks each step with us has never been more certain in my mind.
Has it been hard? Oh yes!! But, as I have said before and I don't say it lightly, if it took cancer to teach me what I know about my Lord, then I would walk that road again, because there is a sweetness that is born out of going through difficult moments and seeing the hand of God show up at unexpected moments.