The Hour After The “C” Word


It was the hour after I first heard the “c” word. The doctor seemed so confident in his conclusion that the lump was breast cancer. I reminded myself there was still the possibility that he was wrong. Hearing the first mention of cancer and my name in the same sentence stopped me in my tracks. The “c” word, biopsy, ultrasound pictures, and unasked questions played over and over in my mind.

In the hour after I first heard the “c” word, I still needed to run errands. Life had to go on. First on the list was picking up high school graduation pictures. As I drove to the photographer’s place, my mind was racing faster than the car.

I picked up the pictures, happy to see my youngest son handsome and all grown up. Would I see him graduate from college? What did my future hold? Breathe. We don’t know anything for certain. Relax. There is so much that has changed since my mom had breast cancer. I knew that I was being a pessimist and going to a dark place. There may be a very good logical and benign reason for this lump. I just wished the lump in my throat would go away too.

My husband called to ask about the doctor’s visit. It wasn’t a conversation I wanted to have over the phone alone in my car. I wasn’t ready for the tears to begin yet. I wanted to be held and know that we would get through this: whatever this turned out to be.

The doctor commented that my husband would want me to have the biopsy as soon as possible. I refused to schedule for the earliest date: my birthday. The diagnosis of breast cancer came two days after my birthday.

My cancer journey had begun. The diagnosis was my introduction, well, actually a painful reminder of how truly vulnerable we are in this world. Cancer was the motivation to draw closer to my God and depend on Him for everything. In that hour, God began to reassure me how strong He is and remind me how strong I can be in Jesus Christ.

Deuteronomy 31:6

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.

Psalm 18:1

I love you, O LORD, my strength.


19 thoughts on “The Hour After The “C” Word

  1. I have shared about my suspected Breast Cancer a few times now Debbie and I feel blessed that I never went through what some do today who have Cancer.

    After finding the breast lump on I went to the Doctor, I had received an e-mail about checking our Breasts for Cancer and how to do it, God sent it I’m sure. The Doctor felt it was very advanced and she booked me into have the Mammogram and Ultra Sound but Friday was the earliest appointment she could get for me. It was almost a week to wait and having just lost my Sister Julie because of Bowel Cancer, I was a mess but on the Thursday I said to God; if this is how my life is going to end on earth than I’m ready to come to be with You and I than experienced the most wonderful Peace, I no longer felt frightened.

    When the woman was doing the tests the next day, she was taking so long I asked what was wrong, she had a diagram from my Doctor showing where the lump was but she said she couldn’t find it.

    That was over 5 years ago Debbie and all my Mammograms have been clear since and I have had no more breast lumps and just like the other life threatening conditions I have been healed from, it has never returned but if it did, I know who to go to for Peace.

    Christian Love Always – Anne


    • Praise God Annie! God’s healing touch came through a miracle for you while God used the doctors and medical treatment for me. Both ways demonstrate God’s desire to bring healing into our lives! With all the miracles you have experienced, I just know that God is doing (and has done) something beyond our imaginations for your and Ron’s lives!


  2. Anonymous

    This is such a powerful story, Debbie. I want to read on and hear what was next, how you and God and your family handled this, how you got through to the other side. As women, we all know that we are an exam or a biopsy away from this same news. Of course, there are other diagnoses that come from many other diseases and those loved ones get. We all relate to this, I’m sure. We are blessed to have a God Who walks with us through these tough times in this troubled world. He is our refuge in time of trouble.


    • The statistics are scary as 1 out of 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. I believe I heard that this increases to 1 out of 6 as woman get older. I can remember a time after the diagnosis and after the treatment was started as I was driving in my car. I felt the Holy Spirit’s nudge to pray for women who were being told that they had breast cancer. I didn’t know anyone personally, but I felt this overwhelming call to pray. I guess it is no surprise that I am involved with a ministry that supports cancer survivors going through treatment. I know no other refuge like God!


  3. Debbie,
    I hope you are going to post soon…now I am sitting on the end of my chair. I hope it turned out not to be a fact, but just the doctor (for liability reasons) telling you to get tested. I remember walking down the oncology hall (to see my dad) and thinking this is a nightmare…so I got that point about not wanting the C word in the same sentence with your name. To even be walking down that hallway for someone I loved was heart-wrenching.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Patty B

    This is such a powerful, encouraging article. I could not have stated the feelings of finding out better and how my cancer diagnoses also deepened my faith and trust in the our Lord who gave us the breath of life. It was a journey I never wanted to take, but it was a journey that God went with me on and used for His glory. We will never understand the full scope of His love for us. I praise Him for His faithfulness to us and in keeping His Promise to always be with us – no matter if He walks with us here on earth or walks with us when as we leave this earth to return to Him.


    • Patty, I remember a post you wrote about breast cancer that Annie shared on her blog. I felt as if you captured the exact emotions I went through from the fear of cancer to the trust in Christ! Our journeys are similar and praise God that we both experienced His healing physically (and spiritually too!)


  5. Reblogged this on Freedomborn … Aussie Christian Focus and commented:
    October is the Month that we remember those who suffer from Cancer and as Christians we pray for them to have God’s healing and assurance of His Love.

    Debbie like Patty and myself and many others, have come up real close to the Big C and today I would like to share Debbie’s story and give Thanks for her Trust and dependence on our Faithful God of Love and Compassion.

    Thank you Debbie -Christian Love from both of us – Anne.


    • Annie… Thank you for sharing my story, Patty’s story (previously) and your story! Cancer affects so many and too many people. We want people going through cancer to know that God still loves them and will always desire healing for them.


    • God is good all the time! It can be hard to shake the fear (even after going through cancer), but we know that our God is bigger than our fears and cancer. Thanks for stopping by to comment and share your love!


  6. bjsscribbles

    I h, when I have learned so much this year and wish to learn more next year When I have 2 working legs. I am somehow drawn to Isaiah and Jerimiah at the moment I am not sure why God has shown me so much this year. My thoughts so far is Jerimiah was depressed and he led the people that were lost in the wilderness to God. I have been both Even though he was also embattled. Isaiah is leading people through fires wars and my life was a huge embattlement. Thank you for praying for me it has lifted my spirits so much and I know God is going to be waiting for me at the end of my journey like he has been with the people in Jerimiah and Isaiah.


    • God is waiting for us, but He is also walking with us for the journey. God is our present help and our reward!

      I love the book of Isaiah. Some of it is hard to read with all the judgment declared. However, even the judgment is evidence of God’s love for us.

      One of the takeaways from Isaiah (and this came from Bible Study Fellowship) was this principle: “Trusting God turns the deepest crisis into the highest praise.” I heard that over 4 years ago and I will never forget it.


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