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.
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.
I love you, O LORD, my strength.