Two checked boxes.
That’s what over a week of fears and stress came too.
Two small checks that said, you are fine. You are not leaving your family.
I felt like there should have been some sort of ceremony or great proclamation!!
A week before I found it. I was getting ready to hop in the shower, and happened to run my hand down my chest and there it was. The thing women all over the world dread. A lump. My mind raced through a million possible easy explanations. I showered and checked it another dozen times. It didn’t disappear. I got out and found Tyler and had him check that I wasn’t crazy. Nope. It was there. An undeniable dense mass of tissue that wasn’t there before.
I called the doctor the next day to get in and have her check it. I was sure she would tell me there was nothing there. The doctor didn’t get the memo. Instead she said there was for sure a lump there and I needed to have further testing. They scheduled a mammogram and ultrasound for a week later.
That is seven days. 168 hours. 10,080 minutes.
That’s a lot of time to worry.
I was managing it ok for the first part of that week. I was keeping busy and most of the time felt sure it was going to be fine. I only had moments of panic that the tests would reveal I had cancer, that I might leave my kids when they were so young.
Then the weekend came and I started to unravel. How can I give my kids all that they need of me while fighting cancer? I don’t want to put Tyler through this. Can I will it away? I could miss so much of the kids lives. How would they handle it all? How would I? What can I do to prepare for this? And down down down the rabbit hole of fear I went.
My dear friend helped me set up getting a priesthood blessing. My home teachers from our ward here came and gave me a blessing which helped a lot.
Sunday came and I was still a mess. I made a snap decision to go to our local church moments before the service started. It’s a large church and I wanted to kind of blend into a crowd and not have anyone inquire too closely how I was doing. I grabbed a seat directly behind the drums. As the music started and I could feel my very body vibrating with the beat, I let go of emotions I had been trying to hold in check for days.
For the first two of the five songs the service started with, I was sobbing. I don’t mean a streak of tears, I mean ugly, snotty, wrenching crying. Then suddenly it hit me. I was already losing the fight.
The real test wasn’t going to be while I was at the doctors office, not matter what those tests revealed. The real test was now and was happening within my own heart. I could give in to the fear, I could worry myself to death and envision horrible options. Or, I could choose to remember some eternal truths.
I am not alone in any fight.
No matter what the tests reveal, God has the best interest of my kids and my husband and myself in mind.
Peace is a choice. Worrying is a choice.
Faith means trusting that everything will happen just as it is supposed to.
I felt a wave of peace wash over me.
This morning I woke early and drove to the breast center for my testing. I was expecting to be terrified once I was there. I wasn’t. The peace from the realization the day before stuck with me. I knew I was ready to tackle whatever came from the tests.
The nurse called me back and I left the comfort of my mom in the waiting room as I faced the machines and the sterile detachment of the office. They finished the test and sent me back to wait while the doctors looked it over.
I felt the tug from the rabbit hole. The fear was there on the edges of my thinking trying to claw its way back in. I denied it entry. The waiting is the real test.
A new nurse called me back. I was expecting another round of testing.
“Your nurse got called into a biopsy. I was sent to let you go”
“The doctor looked everything over and you do not need the ultrasound. He said everything looks good”
“Oh, Thank God”
She showed me the paperwork in her hand with two small checks saying everything was clear. They asked me to come back in a year for a follow up and she opened the door to the waiting room. It was that fast.
I bounded out to the waiting room exclaiming “everything is fine” and then dissolved into tears in my Mom’s arms.
This was the longest week of my life. I learned a lot about myself during the process. I am so relieved my family doesn’t have to be put through a battle with cancer right now. I will be holding all of my babies extra tight tonight and thanking God for every day I get with them.