It’s that time again. It’s time for my mammogram. I’ve been here before.
I remember sitting in ‘that room’ the day I found out that something was terribly wrong. Now, I’m going back. I will sit in ‘that room’, the side of the mammogram center where women wait when they have received a ‘call back’ because there was a problem with the first mammogram. We try not to look at each other. We try not to think about why we are here and yet we do. The television is strategically placed on a Home and Garden channel to keep our minds off of why we are there. Does it work? NO No, it doesn’t. At least, not for me.
Let’s be real.
Recurrence is always in the back of my mind as a breast cancer survivor. In fact, as I write this, I start to become emotional. Yes, I believe God has healed me. Yes, I have faith and I’m a Christian but I am still human. This is the hardest time of the year for me.
I have vivid memories of that day in December of 2008 when they found something wrong with my mammogram. The radiologist hovered over me as I sat crouched in the corner not understanding what was going on. She was demanding that I go straight to the biopsy room. Right then! I couldn’t think. I was in shock. I was traumatized. I knew I had a lump under my arm but I didn’t think it would be so devastatingly serious.
I’ve never shared this before but I think about recurrence daily. I think about not trying to think about the fact that I’ve had cancer. I dread, absolutely dread the mammogram. I dread it for two reasons: first, they could find something again and secondly because after radiation and surgery it really, really hurts. It hurts so bad I have to take Advil and Xanax just to get through the appointment.
Time is precious.
Finally, time is so very precious; I think about my family. I see their faces and I hear their voices. I hear the grandchildren’s giggles. I think about my future granddaughter: will I see her? Will she know me? I mean… will she really, really know me. For example, if something happened to me in the next year, would she know me?
Conversely, I have to remember that I have made it this far. By all means, I was not alone. Only by the true grace of God, am I here today and yet some people question God’s healing power. Honestly, I don’t know how people get through breast cancer without God. I really don’t know how they do it.
It’s only by the grace of God that I am here today. As I wait for this week to pass, I will focus on Jeremiah 29:11 from The Message Translation, “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.”
- I’m going to keep a copy of that verse in my pocket every day and read it when I get those nervous feelings.
- I’m going to be brave.
- I’m going to tell myself: ‘You are stronger than you think, Laura’.
- I’m going to tell myself: ‘You can do this. God is with you’.
It’s That Time Again
Before I leave on that morning, I will pray for strength, take my meds and be brave.
***I write about my thoughts, my hopes, my soul, my highs, my lows and everything in between. I share my journey through breast cancer and invite you to read my story in Keeping It Real.